In the Roman Church, today commemorates the victory of Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Franciscan imprisoned by the Nazis. Fr. Kolbe gave up his life so that another prisoner, a man with a wife and children, could live.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, another martyr of the Nazi yoke, wrote, "When Christ calls a man, he calls him to die."
This theme of the Christian life as necessarily involving self-sacrifice and asketic struggle has come up in several places lately. Here are three:
Second Terrace: "When History Passes You By"
OrthoCuban: "On Wounds Borne For Us"
Anselm's Godblog: "Sacrifice"
and, the struggle on the cosmic level, within the human heart:
Glory to God for all Things: "The Last Battle"