In yesterday’s meditation, we had heard that, according to St John of the Cross, when one makes the decision to follow Christ more intensely, the Devil tries to prevent the decisive step by instilling fear, distracting us and tempting us in various ways. Not infrequently the obstacles can come from people who are close to us, but who have not made up their minds to follow the Lord fully, nor do they understand this path. They may even be pious people, but who do not have a deep enough relationship with the Lord to understand the mystery between God and the soul called by Him. Thus, it may happen that these people feel they have to discourage or even warn against embarking on this more intense path.
We had reflected on the virtue of fortitude in context with the readings from the book of Maccabees; those courageous men and women of the People of Israel. I also pointed out that we need this virtue for our Christian witness in the world, which, in an extreme case, can go as far as martyrdom. We can train ourselves in the virtue of fortitude, and we should not be discouraged if we are naturally fearful. The story of the novice Blanche de la Force (narrated in Gertud von Le Fort’s novel “The Last One at the Scaffold”) can encourage these fearful souls, showing them that they too can be capable of heroic deeds. Read More
Fortitude – which is considered as one of the four cardinal virtues – is part of the basic equipment of a soldier. If he does not become courageous, he cannot be counted on in the toughest battles, for fear would take hold of him, so that the situation would become dangerous for all his comrades.
The readings of the last few days presented us with impressive examples of faith, faithfulness and fortitude. I have therefore decided to dedicate some meditations to the cardinal virtue of fortitude. In these times of turmoil, it is particularly important to aspire to and practice this virtue, in order to be able to resist the various temptations that are presented to us. Let us take as our model those people we met in the readings of the last days, who showed us that obedience and faithfulness to God are above all earthly values and that, with God’s help, it is even possible to overcome fear.
It is with great joy that we look today at St. Augustine, whose conversion brought so much blessing to the Church. We can be sure that the prayer of his mother, St. Monica, and her struggle for him played an important role in Augustine’s finally finding the way to God. He himself wrote down his struggle in his so-called “Confessions”, a book that is always worth reading. He began to write it after the light of faith had shone on him; after he had understood how to live the following of Christ. Read More
Beloved Virgin, how many manifestations of love shine forth in you!
In relation to the Father, we see you as a loving daughter; to the Son you are mother and disciple; to the Holy Spirit you are united in a spousal love.
If already here, in our earthly reality, we are moved by the tender love of a human spouse, and can observe how she blossoms and turns her whole heart and attention to her husband, how much more so is it with you, since your Bridegroom is the Holy Spirit Himself!
How exalted is the election granted to you, beloved Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ!
With astonishment we note that not only the Son of God Himself was entrusted to you, but also all those who belong to Him and sing the song of the redeemed (cf. Rev 14:3). And even more: you are the Mother of all men, and you become light and consolation for those who return home.
Many people come to you full of trust and appeal to your motherly heart, because they understand that your divine Son hears your pleas. Read More
Could one imagine a daughter of the Heavenly Father more enchanting than you, beloved Virgin Mary?
A daughter who so enraptures her Father that He entrusts to her the most precious thing: His beloved Son.
No, there can be no equal to you.
You are the one whom the Lord has chosen. Only God, the Holy One, knows all your beauty, with which He Himself adorned you; and He knows with what joy and tenderness you filled His Heart, seeing you in the splendour of His grace.
We are already on the doorstep of the date You proposed for the liturgical Feast in Your honour: the 7th of August or the first Sunday of the same month.
Father, we are always abundantly blessed by You… At some point, we, Your children – in all our weakness – want to give something back to You. We know that the most beautiful thing we can give You is our heart! It must belong to You totally and unreservedly! Read More
As You give us to understand, Beloved Father, You are not far away, but very close to us, and You will come even closer, to the extent that we allow You and open our hearts to You.
Since this is so and You call us to infinite trust, knowing that You are watching over all that happens to Your children, we come to You also at this hour of history, to ask You what is currently happening on earth. Read More