Ave Maria Meditations
Courage and strength in ordinary life.
Living up to the full the demands of the Faith and of our vocation.
If, upon realizing that his life was in danger, the Baptist had remained silent or retired to the sidelines of public affairs, he would not have been beheaded by Herod. But John was not that kind of man. He was not like a reed shaken by the wind. He was true to his vocation and his principles to the end. If he had remained silent, he could have lived a few more years, but his disciples would not have been the first to follow Our Lord. He would not have prepared and made straight the way of the Lord, as prophesied by Isaiah. He would not have lived up to his vocation. His life would have been bereft of meaning.
Jesus is probably not asking us to suffer a martyr’s death for him. But He is asking us for courage and fortitude in facing up to the demands of ordinary life – to stop watching a bad television show, to cease putting off an apostolic conversation … We cannot allow ourselves to hide behind excuses when there is so much apostolic work to be done. We have to act with optimism, loving the world and the good that is in it while seeking to increase that goodness. We can do this with the example of a joyful family and of the youthful love that is born of holy purity.
There are other kinds of cowardly silence which we have to struggle against. There is the silence we maintain with the person next to us. God has put him there so that we might be a beacon of light for him or her. In addition, it is hard to imagine that we can be courageous at all in this life if we are not first courageous with ourselves, especially when talking with our spiritual director.
Many of our friends, on seeing that we truly practice what we preach, will be attracted to the Faith. Centuries ago, many people converted after witnessing the martyrdom of the first Christians. We dedicate this day to Our Lady. We ask her to teach us when to be silent and when to speak out.
Fr. Francis Fernandez (In Conversation with God)