Adapted by Amanda Hinson from EDGE Made Known and Into the Dark Series
Courage. Every action movie is packed with it, inspirational characters make it look too easy, and every story needs a person who exemplifies it. Today, we need courage. In the last lesson, we learned about seeing the Light and being forgiven of our sins. What about dealing with Fear? Does God help us with that? YES!
In everyday life, though, having the courage to face things that seem scary, hard, or impossible is not easy, and we may not always feel inspired to overcome our fears. But the truth is that courage is not something that just magically appears; rather, we have to choose to be courageous and we can ask God for the grace to be courageous. God promises us that we have nothing to fear because He has already conquered the world. So let us move forward in our journey with courage and Christ by our side.
I pray that you will give me the courage I need to face what I'm going through today. Holy Spirit, come and shine your light on the areas in my life I need to change. Be my guide and be by my side to comfort me in times of trouble.
Watch this video about a boy who prayed for the Holy Spirit to come into his life:
Who did Dove remind you of?
How did Dove help the main character have courage?
Why do you think this was called the Advocate?
Jesus sets out the way before us and is the source of all truth. In Him we will find new life — a life filled with joy and purpose, the type of life we see the saints live out. Courage is the ability to do something, even if you are scared, or to have strength in the face of pain or grief. Fortitude is a gift of the Holy Spirit that gives us the ability to stand firm in the pursuit of good even in the midst of difficulties, giving one strength to face fear, even the fear of death. (CCC 1808)
A couple Sundays ago, we learned in the Mass that Lazarus was raised from the dead. Jesus said at that time that he was the Resurrection and the Life. This life he was talking about was an abundant, joy-filled spiritual life that is close to God. That's what we are all called to. When we have a relationship with Jesus, we find life to the fullest, both here on Earth and perfectly in heaven. We are not called to live in fear-- yes, even in these times!
Like in the video above, there are always different paths before us, and every choice we make puts us on one of those paths: the path of life with Jesus or the path that leads us away from Jesus to sin and darkness. (CCC 1696, 1970) I wonder if while we are experiencing the new challenges with the coronavirus, if we also have opportunity to choose our path. We choose what we view online, we choose how we treat our family members at home, we choose if we listen to the rules, we choose if we're going to actually do our homework, we choose if we spend time with God, and yes we choose to say no to fear and set our minds on Christ.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
--1 John 4:18-20
How are you dealing with the fears around you? How are you handling the challenges we are facing today? It's encouraging to think about the saints who had to have courage as they faced difficulties on their journey to holiness and heaven. It is these difficulties that often made them stronger in their faith. (CCC 2015) When we trust that we're on a journey to everlasting life with Jesus, we can see the big picture that this world and our current circumstances is not the end of the story. Jesus said,
"In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?"
The saints knew that the fight was worth it, and they also knew that they were never truly alone in their struggles because Jesus promises to be with us always and tells us,
“ I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
In every battle we face, whether it be defending our faith when we are challenged or as we struggle to find answers to life’s biggest questions, we are not alone! We have the saints in heaven, we still have each other, and we have Jesus by our side. The community we are a part of is so much bigger than we could imagine; we are all brothers and sisters and a part of the family of the Church. Jesus came to show us the way, the truth, and the life — and a part of the good life that He has in store for us, both here on Earth and one day in heaven, includes other people. When we know we are not alone, we are able to be more courageous. When we support one another, we can have victory in the battles we face.
EDGE Challenge: Please pray for others in the church today and find a way to send encouragement to someone else who may be struggling with fear.
Below is the Divine Mercy Chaplet in Song. Leave a comment below if you are praying with us!