Take courage. Do not be afraid!

03 June 2018

lighting a candle at youth festival in PolandTake courage. Do not be afraid!

Throughout the Bible, God exhorts us not to be afraid of anyone, anything or any situation.

God is with us and protects us – yes, in our suffering and hardship, but sometimes even more importantly, he is always with us in the ordinariness of our lives. An avid reader and inveterate daydreamer, my favourite occupation is to imagine myself in some historical situation acting with wisdom and always with clear-eyed courage.

However, rather than facing issues with courage, I have the sinking feeling I’m more likely to proffer a clear-eyed list of excuses.

It is with awe then I consider those who do have the courage, despite often facing lives of hardship, disability or disaster themselves, to work to right injustices.

This issue of Madonna examines courage in our everyday lives. In response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, lawyer Moira Rayner calls for a fundamental change to adult formal relationships with children. Those who appeared at the Royal Commission and told their stories showed courage and commitment to the need for change.

Catholic women, despite facing an institutionalised misogyny, carry out their vocations with enthusiasm and diligence. St Mary MacKillop knew what it was like to face unjust criticism but persisted in her work. The faith and courage of a Greek peasant woman holds lessons for us, even though we may be separated by oceans, language and education.

It is likely the majority of us will never be formally recognised as a ‘hero’, but it takes courage to live our lives to the fullest – to love honestly, to give with grace, to be cheerful in our work, to care for our families, communities and world.

We know the courage to face the world will be ours for the asking, for Jesus promised us we need not be afraid.

COVER NOTES As Catholics we know it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. The candle represents a flicker of hope in situations of discontent and fear. Lighting a candle is the ultimate symbol of courage. Pictured aare pilgrims at MAGIS celebrations in Poland.

On the cover: ‘When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea, they cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately spoke up: “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”’ MATT 14:27

Photography: Cover: Courage candle by kellyraeroberts.com/blog/ Photo: pdxkelly_flickr

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