Today, as never before, we need courage “one day at a time.” Daily, ordinary people valiantly face things that are hard or frightening. Each day we wake to another day of responsibilities while facing physical or emotional problems, family or financial burdens.
Courage for each of us means finding the determination to bear discomfort and to persevere despite the difficulties. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face,” said Eleanor Roosevelt. “You must do the thing you cannot do.”
So daily examples of courage for each of us might be: asking unpopular questions, listening to difficult answers, resisting peer pressure, helping your neighbor, accepting death, carrying on when you are weary, knowing when to “let go”, standing up to be counted even though you stand alone, taking a leap of faith and trusting a divine hand will be there to hold you up.
Can we train ourselves to be more courageous? Arthur Gordon, a Catholic writer, suggests some strategies that can help nurture courage:
- Choose to be brave,
- Take Responsibility,
- Ask for Help,
- Be Bold,
Living our daily lives with courage doesn’t mean never feeling afraid or needing help. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever fail. It does mean that we act with determination and boldness in spite of our fears and always with God’s support and love.
Remember that courage or fortitude is a gift of the Holy Spirit and helps us to live lives of authentic faith.