Monthly Reflection


An Easter Reflection (with apologies to Charles Peguy)


Happy & Joyous Easter 
There are two kinds of courage, 
God says,
the cold, sharp courage
and the warm, soft courage.
I like them both, 
they please me, I rejoice in them.
I see that they are good.
The cold, sharp courage
has its source in the will,
in duty, 
in doing,
in choosing.
It is good, God says,
yes, it is very good.
But if I may be permitted a preference,
I am usually more touched
by the warm, soft courage.
It comes from the heart, you see.
(No doubt, the heart rooted in the will).
But it is courage of the will
tempered by the heart, 
softened by the heart,
tamed by the heart,
and I am very vulnerable 
about the heart.
You know it well,
and your children too:
“Sweet Heart of Jesus,
fount of love and mercy....”
singing with tousled hair
and dirty faces
after a mad race in the playground,
they sing:
“Sweet Heart of Jesus....”
This is where courage begins,
the soft, warm courage I spoke of.
My Son shows you real courage,
springing from love.
You see, God says, it really is a matter of the heart.
The heart must be there.
Take away the heart and courage goes, everything goes,
all is finished.
See how my Son
kept his heart to the end.
He knew,
and then he gave that too.
I asked him to.
I had to,
you were so hard to convince.
I asked him and he gave it.
“Immediately, there flowed blood and water.”
The last red trickle, the last hazy drop;
and Longinus going home to tea
after a hard day’s work.
The trickle, the drop
fell into the chalice of the Cross.
There were no ablutions that day,
there was no need,
priest and victim were pure.

No one really saw his courage that day.
But three days later,
it was different, so different!
I had to smile at you,
“He is risen,”  you cried.
“He is with us,” you jumped.
“He is among us!” you laughed, you ran,
you danced, you swam!
What had happened?
Only that soft, warm courage
leapt from the prison of sad hearts.
And those men of his?
Now, they saw,
now they recognised
his courage;
and now they knew
what they had to do,
because they loved him, believed in him,
(At last ...!)
And from this love founded 
on strong, persevering faith
came warm, soft courage,
the kind that made those hardy fishermen
tender and gentle.
(Yes, don’t look so surprised, 
real courage is warm and gently, 
I keep telling you!)
They were like milky babes,
even faced death like milky babes,
deaths that would have shaken
the men of duty,
the self-controlled,
cold, hard courageous types.
Mind you, I don’t disdain
this kind of courage,
I made it and I saw it was good.
The other kind I made too,
and, somehow,
I think that was even better.
You see, I like warmth, God says, 
that is why you have a Crib,
and a young woman, and a baby.
Not to mention a little , white lamb
getting all tied up with his new legs!)
Maybe, just sometimes,
you feel that you need courage?
Ask my Son
and his mother,
for the soft, warm courage
that I love so much.
She is an expert
on this kind of courage.
It carried her from
Nazareth to Bethlehem, 
to Egypt and back,
to Jerusalem and Calvary
and from Calvary,

Sr. Maureen McCollum, hhs

Posted in: Reflection

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