Yet the Catacombs, a maze of underground burial tunnels beneath Rome, preach their silent testimony of the triumph of the gospel. Though skeletons of the saints have heads cut off, ribs and shoulder blades broken, or bones blackened by fire, nevertheless, the inscriptions found breathe forth a peace and rest unknown to the unbelievers.

“Here lies Marcia, put to rest in a dream of peace.� “Lawrence to his sweetest son, borne away by angels.� “Victorious in peace and in Christ.� “Simplicius, may you live in Christ.�

Contrast these with those of the pagans, such as: “Live for the present hour, since we are sure of nothing more.� “I lift my hands against the gods who took me away at the age of twenty though I had done no harm.� “Once I was not. Now I am not. I know nothing about it, and it is no concern of mine.� “Traveler, curse me not as you pass, for I am in darkness and cannot answer.�

Stop and think: What distinguishes Christian death and burial from the traditional burial in your tribe? Is there a clear difference?