Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for
the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9
"We must unite ourselves with our Eucharistic Lord,
both inside and outside of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Pope Benedict XVI said, "Kneeling before the Eucharist
is a profession of freedom: those who bow to Jesus cannot and must not
prostrate themselves before any earthly authority..."
My gloss on Benedict is this: If we stand at the altar of the Lord with incense,
we are less likely to offer a pinch of incense on the altar of Caesar
- the idol of tyranny. Or the altar of Mammon - the idol of riches.
Or the altar of Baal - the idol demanding the blood of children. Or the altar
of public opinion - the idol that makes promises it cannot keep.
Prayer, Penance, Eucharist: taken together they are the
foundation upon which the virtue of a truly Christian bravery can grow.
They will allow us to answer the summons of Sacred Scripture:
"Let the weak say, 'I am a warrior'!" Joel 3:10
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ