“Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.”
When I was in the seminary at St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois, Cardinal Cody was the leader of the Church in Chicago. At one of the deacon ordinations at the seminary, he was recounting about the election of Saint Pope John Paul II. He said that he was seated next to him when his name was called as the one selected by the Spirit to lead the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Cody told us, “The first thing I did was to reach over and take his arm and say to him, ‘Couragio’. That means courage.”
We all laughed because anybody with a quarter of a brain would be able to figure out couragio meant courage. But, after the laughter, we realized the message contained in that statement. The newly elected pope was going to need a lot of courage in order to do what he needed in leading and guiding us.
Taking on the mantle of a spiritual leader can be very frightening. It is so because the world will automatically, be against the spiritual leader. That leader can be a pope, a bishop, a priest, a deacon, a brother, a sister, or a dedicated lay person. It makes no difference. Whomever has the nerve to become a spiritual leader is a threat to the world and, therefore, will face much opposition. That is where bravery comes in to play.
Because taking on the mantle of a spiritual leader can scare anybody.
Not trying to scare you; however, that is precisely what the Lord asks of you this day. You are called to be a spiritual leader. You are called to take on the world. You are called to counter the dark with the light of Christ. You are called to put your life on the line, if necessary.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who are so frightened that their spiritual lives are faltering. Ask God to grant them the courage that they need to face the world bravely.