Don’t you know that to be the world’s friend means to be God’s enemy?
If you want to be the world’s friend,
you make yourself God’s enemy.
– James 4:4 (GNT)
Inordinate love of the world, which stems from ambition,
is incompatible with the love of God.
Having an inordinate love of the world
leadsto opposition to Christ and His teachings and His followers.
Our Lord warned us that no one can faithfully serve two masters:
"You will hate one and love the other;
you will be loyal to one and despise the other." (Matt 6:24)
If we are going to follow Christ, if we truly love Him,
then we must be steadfast in faith
and bear witness to it
even if it comes at a personal cost,
because, to true followers of Christ,
nothing should be worth losing their souls for.
If necessary, all Christians should be prepared to give up their lives as witnesses to their Faith.
However, God does not ask the majority of Christians
to do so in testimony of the faith they profess.
What He does ask of us
is a heroic steadfastness in proclaiming the truth through our life and our words
even in environments which may be difficult and hostile to the teachings of Christ.
He asks us to live fully the Christian virtues
in this world, and in spite of it,
in whatever circumstances life has placed us in.
This is the path that the majority of Christians will have to tread
– Christians who sacrifice themselves
through living heroism in the duties and circumstances of each day,
Today’s Christian needs the virtue of fortitude in a special way.
Having fortitude is indispensable, given the materialistic mentality of so many people today.
It is a mentality that prizes comfort
and has a horror of anything that smacks of mortifications, renunciation or sacrifice.
That is why, without courage, self-control, determination and fortitude,
we cannot remain faithful to God.
Each day presents us with many opportunities for practising these virtues.
Overcoming our moods is one of them.
Avoiding useless complaints is another.
So too is persevering in our work when we feel tired;
smiling when we find it difficult to do so;
lovingly correcting people when necessary…
but being a good Christian requires a kind of bravery
as well as determination.
Indeed, to follow Christ we need fortitude.
Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties
and constancy in the pursuit of the good.
It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations
and to overcome obstacles in the moral life.
The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death,
and to face trials and persecutions.
It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defence of a just cause…
– Catechism of the Catholic Church 1808
REPETITIVE PRAYER FOR TODAY…
In everything I say and do,
Lord, help me keep my focus on You, always.