The Fiery Furnace

Artwork © by Judith Costello

Artwork © by Judith Costello

These three young men are written about in the Bible (Daniel 3:1-96). They were Jewish but the pagan king changed their names and trained them to work for him. The young men, along with Daniel, kept up the practices of the Hebrews. When the king told them to worship  a golden statue, they refused. In a rage, the king had them tied in ropes and thrown into a fiery furnace. Yet, when the king looked inside the young men were standing up and praising God. A fourth figure was also seen in the furnace. As these three walked out of the furnace unharmed, the king praised the one true God.

The young man on the left represents a commitment to Truth….he is saying “No” to idols and “no” to sin. The boy on the right is lifting his hands and singing to God in worship. The boy in the center is dedicated to praying. These three: love of truth, worship of God, and prayerful trust even in the midst of trials,  these are qualities of a Saint!

During Lent, we can imagine the fires of hell. When we repent and turn to God with humility and trust, God will protect us and guide us. We turn away from the flames (which are the trials and persecutions in this life) and toward our heavenly home.

The young men in the book of Daniel refused to bow down before the idol built by the pagan king. They said to the king, “We don’t have a defense. We stand firm. God, if He chooses, can save us. But if not, we are confident in the life after death.” And for that they were thrown into the fiery furnace where they praised God!

This is our meditation today from Daniel chapter 3:

“So huge a fire was kindled in the furnace that the flames devoured the men who threw Sadrach, Meshach and Abednego into it. But these three fell, bound, into the midst of the white-hot furnace. ….the young men prayed… [Then] the angel of the Lord went down into the furnace & drove the fiery flames out of the furnace…”

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About the Author

Judith Costello, MA, OCDS was a Catholic Worker and a catechist as a young adult. Then the feminist movement called to her during the 1970s-1990s and she fell away from the faith. She was sure, during those years that being a "good person" was all that God expects of us. Over the years, pride and politics took her farther and farther from the truth that God asks us to live in virtue, offer sacrifices, and come closer to Him in the sacraments.

After a divorce, Judith met a man who encouraged her to to Come Home. Judith and Jurgen now live on a small farm with two teenagers and lots of animals. Along with the children, Judith is active in the Church as a catechist, lector and sacristan. They take care of Jurgen who is now in poor health. Judith is a secular Carmelite and author of two books on Prayer and Mariology. She writes curriculum lessons for Her artwork in featured at and on Facebook. Judith blogs at

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