Wednesday, July 8, 2015


A couple weeks ago I found this link over at Esther's place, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii. The girls and I are studying Courage in The Book of Virtues right now and this is an excellent example of a gift, similar to courage, but better, I think. It's a special kind of fortitude.

I like this explanation of fortitude from Catholic Definitions:

The gift of fortitude brings to those who have it a dauntless spirit of resolution, firmness of mind, and indomitable will to persevere with a quiet faith in God’s providence that overcomes all obstacles. It also brings courage to persist in the practice of virtue despite trials, illness, persecution or external failure. A Catholic who becomes fervent in God’s service will soon be condemned by the world, but the gift of fortitude will sustain him as he walks toward the Cross.

In the link, Esther shares the case of an elderly woman thwarting a burglar, quiet faith and kind but true words won the day. Such an inspiring example! I like to imagine I might try to do the same thing in the same kind of situation. Would I, though? I don't know. I have a hard enough time when I'm faced with beliefs that are an assault to my own in the comparatively gentle forum of the blogosphere.

How hard it is to walk the Catholic walk in this world, and not duck my head and change direction when a touchy subject comes up! It's so hard just living day to day in this world, keeping body, mind and spirit above water. Do I want to add the burden of debates to my low-riding dingy? Do I have that kind of fortitude?

Do I need that kind of fortitude? How does it apply in my daily life as wife, mother ~ and blogger?

My friend, Laura, asked the question the other day, too: WWJD? What Would Jesus Do ~ in any of the circumstances that touch my life? It's a good question. It's THE question. But, it's occured to me, that, in my circumstance, it may be more appropriate sometimes to ask WWMD?

Jesus preached, taught, debated ~ and led a life of perfect example. He came into the world to do this, along with a couple of other very important tasks He took on for us. It was the most important mission of all, His duty of love, and His calling.

But, What Would Mary Do?

Our Lord's example was perfect. But, seriously, I'm not called to be a preacher, a debator, a world leader of any kind. I'm a mother.

What Would Mary Do?

She speaks little in the Bible, the Mother of God, only four times, and when she does, it is in humble acceptance (to the Angel Gabriel and to St. Elizabeth, in the Magnificat )or in motherly concern (when finding the Child Jesus in the temple, and at the wedding at Cana). She is never recorded as having taken part in debate.

In her apparitions over the centuries, she warns of dangers, exhorts to prayer, recommends sacrifice. She is gentle, yet firm, practical and loving. Her earthly role of support and motherly encouragement of the early Church has infinitely expanded to include her role as Mediatrix of All Graces and Queen of the Universe. But the Blessed Mother's humility and servitude under God is the same. Her chief tool, her chief weapon, is prayer. She crushes the head of the serpent with it.
I strongly believe many capable women are called to enter the debate forum, and are amazing in their intelligence, their zeal, and their fortitude in tackling the hard questions.

I think my particular challenge in fortitude, however, consists in taking up my daily yoke and trying to live as faithfully as I can. I have some work to do to "perservere with a quiet faith in God's providence." But, I do have the Blessed Mother's tool to use.

I can pray. And I can ask her to pray with me and for me.

I pray that if the situation arises where I'm called to speak up, or act in defense of my faith, that I'm able to speak with the gifts of the Holy Ghost on the tip of my tongue.

But I just gotta tell ya, I hope that never includes having to talk someone out of trying to rob me.

* A repost from 2008, but I think the idea is more pertinent than ever in our days of swiftly corrupting culture. We're so inundated these days by not only immorality, but the general acceptance of it; recent events in America have pushed it right into our faces.  If you're involved at all with the social media, you are faced with constant decisions about what to respond to, what to ignore, who to "friend," who to "unfriend," what to forward, and how to respond to people who take umbrage to your forwards... It's all very complicated.  Should we just stay off the internet?  Or is that "hiding our light under a bushel basket?" Maybe we should try to be one of the voices for good in it all? I don't know. There are no easy answers -- and I expect they're different for all of us.  But the one constant is prayer.  Prayer and trust in The Blessed Mother and her Divine Son to lead us through on each our individual paths.  In meekness, humility, and patience.  We can never do better than to imitate our loving Mother in heaven.

No comments: