Grace to you and Happy Easter!
I welcome you to Day 6 of the preparation for the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit. I wonder what the disciples of Jesus must have been doing in the Upper Room during the sixth day of their prayers. Perhaps fatigue was already setting in since they had been fasting, living on bread and water alone or something like that, plus living under fear of the public opposed to their message, secluded and hiding in the Upper Room.
Are you getting tired? Try not to be, because the better part of the promise is yet to come. “When the night is darkest, the dawn is near.” The dawn of the Holy Spirit’s coming is underway, or should I way, it is near. Courage!
Today’s prayerful meditation to the Holy Spirit is on courage, what we know in traditional spirituality as the gift of fortitude. It is the gift which gives us the strength to overcome fear so that we can courageously do God’s will and live the life of joyful freedom.
I understand there are many reasons to be afraid, many things that can scare us. It is in our nature to be afraid of certain things.
You remember the time you came close to fire? Instinctively, your body shivers. Or that time something was thrown at you? The instinct of self-preservation, motivated by natural fear for harmful stuff, takes over.
Many times, we are afraid to take up some challenging tasks too. We don’t want to take risks, because often, risks are uncomfortable. How about spiritual adventures? Growth in spiritual life entails making some spiritual adventures. Those courageous enough to take risks live the life of greatness, achieve their potentials. The saints are the courageous.
However, we can’t cultivate courage. It’s a gift. In fact, it’s God’s gift, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thus, we need to ask for this gift.
In the prophecy of Zephaniah 3:16-18, we hear a message for Zion, a message applied to the Church as well. The message is about Emmanuel (Jesus Christ) dwelling with us, thereby being the source of our courage, strength and victory. Christ’s continuous presence in our midst is through his spirit, the Holy Spirit. Being open and attuned to Him is a spiritual bulwark.
Oh Holy Spirit, I know I lack courage. In spite of good counsel, a wealth of knowledge of what to do for your glory and for the blessing of my neighbor, I lack the courage to do it.
Many times I start something, but I lack the perseverance to follow through to the end. Like the parable told by our Lord Jesus Christ, I am like that man who starts a house or begins a war, but can’t finish.
I need courage. I need endurance. I need perseverance. I need integrity of character so that my yes will mean yes and my no will mean no. I don’t want to swing from one position to another simply because I lack the courage of standing by what I know, what my mind is telling me is the right thing to do.
When I reviewed the life of the early Church, I realized that those people, especially the disciples, locked themselves up in the Upper Room because of fear. However, when you came upon them, they broke the shackles of fear, and courageously testified to what they know.
Give me the same courage. It’s better for me to lead the life of freedom confident about myself, than trying to live a lie to please others.
Pray: Oh Holy Spirit, fill my heart with the same spirit of courage you gave the disciples. Let my will be strengthened to long for what is good, true and beautiful for you, for my neighbor and for me. Amen.
Remember to continue the novena prayer Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest by clicking here
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.