15 September 2014


The more a soul loves God, the more courageous it will be in undertaking any work, no matter how laborious, for love of Him.  Fear of fatigue, of suffering and of danger, is the greatest enemy of fortitude; it paralyzes the soul and makes it recoil before duty.  Courage, on the contrary, is invigorating; it enables us to confront anything in order to be faithful to God.  Courage, therefore, incites us to embrace death itself, if necessary, rather than to be unfaithful to duty.  Martyrdom is the supreme act of Christian fortitude, an act which is not asked of all, yet one which it is well not to ignore as a possibility.  Every Christian is, so to speak, a potential martyr, in the sense that the virtue of fortitude, infused into him at Baptism and Confirmation, makes him capable, if necessity requires it, of sacrificing even his life for the love of God.  And if all Christians are not actually called upon to render to the Lord this supreme testimony of love, all should, nevertheless, live like courageous soldiers, accustoming themselves never to desert any duty, little or great, through fear of sacrifice.


"O Lord God of hosts, You said in Your Gospel, 'I am not come to bring peace but the sword'; provide me then with strength and weapons for the battle.  I burn with desire to fight for Your glory, but I beseech You, strengthen my courage.  Then with holy King David I can exclaim: 'You alone are my shield, O God; it is You who prepare my hands for war.'" (St. Teresa of Avila)

--from Divine Intimacy, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

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