Gift: Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.
Reading: Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother who, seeing her seven sons perish in a single day, bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord. Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly reason with manly emotion, she exhorted each of them in the language of their ancestors with these words: “I do not know how you came to be in my womb; it was not I who gave you breath and life, nor was it I who arranged the elements you are made of. Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe who shaped the beginning of humankind and brought about the origin of everything, he, in his mercy, will give you back both breath and life, because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law.” (2 Maccabees 7:20-23)
Observation: As I read the first reading this morning, I was not left with much of a lasting impression of it in my mind. I continued through reading the readings for Mass and after reading the gospel, I was left with no particular verse or verses to journal on. However, after attending Mass and listening to Father Jaspers homily, in which he mentioned that it was interesting that we don’t hear these verses quoted from scripture to explain the power of the Creator to bring about a human life inside of a woman, like we hear quoted from Jeremiah or the Psalms. When reading it over again and reflecting on the context of the rest of this chapter from Maccabees, I can understand why someone would not necessarily want to quote this part of scripture, because of its rather matter of fact way of explaining the way her children were killed.
Personification: Gentleness I made a promise to my wife that I would try to be more gentle with the boys when I will undoubtedly need to reprimand them tonight. I chose to focus on gentleness on my own, but she agreed that my being gentle, rather than completely enraged at their inevitable acting without discipline would be a nice change of pace. I don’t know if it was because I was away for a couple of days and lost my patience more easily or I was away for a couple of days and they were used to being in charge, either way the end result was that I lost my cool a few times last night.
Prayer: Lord, help me to display the fruit of gentleness. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen.