Be Strong And Courageous

During his years as premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev denounced many of the policies and atrocities of his predecessor Joseph Stalin. In the midst of one of his speeches, a heckler shouted, "You were one of his colleagues, why didn't you stop him?"

Khrushchev answered, "Who said that?" There was a deathly silence as nobody in the room dared move a muscle. Then Khrushchev said, "Now you know why."

Fear silences us. It paralyses us. It's like the coils of a snake that tighten around its victims so that when its prey breathes out, it constricts itself tighter. But there is a way out. "A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul."

Charles Dickens' Tale of Two Cities is a story that took place in the French revolution. Each day there was a grim procession through the streets of Paris of prisoners on their way to the guillotine. In one of the processions was Sidney Carton, a bold man who after having abandoned God for many years had realized his error and came back, and was now giving his life for his friend. Beside him there was a young girl. They had met before in the prison, and the girl had noticed the gentleness and courage of the man's face. She said to him "If I may ride with you, will you let me hold your hand? I am not afraid, but I am little and weak, and it will give me more courage." So they rode together hand in hand; and when they reached the place of execution fear had disappeared from her face. She looked up into the quiet composed face of her companion, and said "I think you were sent to me by heaven".

This is why we can be fearless even if the challenges are enormous, because we also have a strong companion always by our side. We have a mighty valiant hero!

This Almighty even resides in us! In his book, The Law of Recognition, Mike Murdock says, "Everything you'll ever need or want is already in your life - merely awaiting your recognition of it. But anything that's unrecognized becomes unappreciated; anything that's unappreciated becomes unrewarded; and anything that is unrewarded eventually leaves your life."

During the great California gold rush days, a young couple became totally fixated with the pursuit of gold. They sold their farm and everything they owned and went 'out west' to search for it. Failure ?after failure, they eventually ended up bankrupt and went to Europe. ?After many years, they came back home to America and decided to visit their old farm. But when they arrived they found it surrounded by security guards and a high-wire fence.

What had happened? Under their farmhouse there was the second largest gold reserve in America - and the government now owned it. ?

Most of us spend far too much time and stress believing that things are just too big for us. Yet, God in His grace has given us everything that we need to stand firm. He has given us Himself. As they say, 'Stop telling God how big your mountains are and start telling your mountains how big your God is'.

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.