Friday, July 4, 2014

The Gift of Fortitude


Fortitude is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Fortitude is defined as the mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.  In the Neocatechumenal Way, I often hear the word "Courage" that this has become a slogan or motto of the Way.  Always walk in the right path with courage and humility.    

To the brothers walking in the Way and especially to our Archbisop, take courage. You are never alone.  God always chooses the weak, the poor, the handicap, the shy ones, the most humbled, and even the worst sinner as His chosen ones to lead.  He does this so that He uses our weaknesses to manifest His power and strength.  God is always by our side especially during these times of difficulties and persecution.  He has armed us with the divine gift of fortitude, which is why the slogan and motto of the Neocatechumenal Way is "courage."  Courage because families are in mission in foreign countries away from friends and job securities.  Courage because mission priests and seminarians are being sent off to evangelize to bring people to Jesus Christ.  Courage because even our seminarians from foreign lands are being ridiculed and discriminated due to their language.  Courage because we are being ridiculed, taunted, and scandalized by others.  According to the Pope: 


Dear brothers and sisters!

In recent catechesis, we examined the first three gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding and counsel. Today we think about what the Lord does, He always comes to support us in our weakness with a special gift, the gift of fortitude .

1. There is a parable told by Jesus, which helps us to grasp the importance of this gift. A sower goes out to sow; not all the seed he sows, however, bears fruit. What ends up on the street is eaten by birds; what falls on stony ground or among thorns sprouting, but is soon dried by the sun or choked by the thorns. Only what ends up on the good soil can grow and bear fruit (cf. Mk 4.3 to 9 / / Mt 13:3-9 / / Luke 8.4 to 8 ) .

As Jesus himself said to his disciples, the Father is the sower, who sows the seed of His Word abundantly. The seed, however, often clashes with the aridness of our hearts and, even when welcomed, is likely to remain sterile.

Instead, with the gift of fortitude the Holy Spirit frees the soil of our heart from torpor, uncertainties and all the fears that can stop it, so that the Word of God can be put into practice, in an authentic and joyful way.

This is a real help, this gift of fortitude it gives us strength and frees us from many obstacles.

2 . There are difficult moments and extreme situations in which the gift of fortitude is manifested in an extraordinary, exemplary way. This is the case of those who are facing particularly harsh and painful experiences, that disrupt their lives and those of their loved ones.

The Church shines with the testimony of so many brothers and sisters who have not hesitated to give their lives, in order to remain faithful to the Lord and His Gospel.

Even today there are numerous Christians in many parts of the world who continue to celebrate and witness to their faith with deep conviction and serenity, and resist even when they know that this can result in them paying a very high price.

All of us know people, people who have experienced difficult situations, so much pain, let us think of those men and women who have a difficult life, who fight for the survival of their family, educate their children.

They do this because the Spirit of fortitude helps them.

How many, many men and women - whose names we do not know - honor our people, honor our Church because they are strong in carrying forward their lives, their work, their family, their faith - these our brothers and sisters are saints!

Every day saints! Hidden saints among us! They have the gift of fortitude in carrying on in their duty as people, mother, father, brother, sister citizen. We have so many - so many.

Let us thank the Lord for these Christians who are the hidden saints among us. It is the Spirit within who carries them forward and it would do us good to think of these people. If they do this, if they can do this then why not me and we ask the Lord to give us the gift of fortitude.

3 . With this, we must not think that the gift of fortitude is only necessary on some occasions or in certain situations.

This gift must be the base note of our being Christians, in our ordinary everyday lives. As I said we must have fortitude in our everyday life as Christians we need this fortitude to carry on in our lives, our families our faith. Paul, the Apostle Paul, said something that it would do us all good to hear: "I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me" (Phil. 4:13).

In our everyday life, in difficult times it would do us good to say this "I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me". The Lord always gives us strength, Lord never gives us more than we can handle, "I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me".

Dear friends, sometimes we may be tempted to allow ourselves be overtaken by laziness or despondency, especially when faced with the hardships and trials of life. In these cases, do not lose heart, but invoke the Holy Spirit, so that with the gift of fortitude He can lift our hearts and communicate new vigor and enthusiasm to our lives and our following Jesus.


Pope Francis Catechesis on Fortitude

42 comments:

  1. Thanks Diane. It's always good to hear encouraging words. God bless!

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    1. Dear Anonymous at 2:49 p.m.,

      I am very pleased to see that there is a lot honest dialogue occurring in my blog site between those who are walking in the Way and those who are not. Enjoy your fourth of July with your family. :-)

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  2. Thanks. Where is everyone?

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    1. Dear Anonymous at 5:39 p.m.,

      It was the Fourth of July.....a time to spend with my family. :-)

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  3. Your crumpling, Diana, like the wicked witch of the north. I'm melting, I'm melting....ahhhhhhh!

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    1. At first, I was thinking of deleting this comment made by 12:35 a.m., but have decided to publish it to show what the jungle is really about. They are not about correction. This is the type of mockery, taunting, and persecution that you find all the time in the jungle. This is why I encourage everyone not to bother making comments there. It is pointless to try and reason with someone who only wish to destroy the NCW and the Archbishop. Their reason has nothing to do with progress, but with Rohr's revenge on the Archbishop.

      They are already calling for the Archbishop to resign and for the RMS seminary to be closed. For the first time, we have two seminaries on this island, and they want us to go backward in time. In the past, Guam have always asked other countries (mainly the Philippines) for priests. Now, we are able to send priests to other countries who need them. But their hatred has blinded them.

      We pray for God to give us the gift of fortitude.

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    2. Justice is what they want. God will win. We pray for you Archbishop, persecution is good for the NCW. Mockery I read there is juvenile.

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  4. Diana,

    Those in the jungle are persecuting the archbishop for wanting to meet with concern catholics. Tim is behind catholics. He says he's not, but his hand is in it. That's probably why the archbishop wants to meet their leader.

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    1. Dear Anonymous at 7:43 a.m.,

      Tim is always persecuting the archbishop. There is always a lot of taunting and mockery over there, which is why I wrote this post. It does not matter if the Archbishop does the right thing, he is still going to be taunted by the jungle. When the Archbishop released the information on how the AAA was to be spent, they still taunted him. Even if the Archbishop were to do the right thing, he would still be taunted. "Damned if you and damned if you don't."

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    2. Harsh words they portray to the Archbishop but yet ofcourse they hide as anonymous. Afraid they will be denied of thier children going to CCD and Catholic School. Diana half hearted Catholic is not their name bur Protestant and the Rohrbots. Tim purposely let everyone post for a hundred times which their argument has no bearing but mockery. I'm not impress but sadden.

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    3. God is with the Archbishop, he is not afraid and he is strong. God will win. The Rohrbots are lucky, the Archbishop setting a sample of Christ.
      Oldman George Santa Rita

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    4. Dear Anonymous at 8:13 a.m.,

      Oops, my comment above was supposed to read "Damned if you do and damned if you don't." Concerned Catholics do not have to be concerned about their children being denied into CCD or the Catholic Schools. That is just the jungle spreading those rumors. I also do not want to degrade the Protestants (especially the Quakers) by associating them with likes of Tim Rohr and his crowd.

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  5. Diana you should let those unclassy post to show how thier really are. Classless, Gofigan nailed himself of disobedience and yet went to the media to redicule the Archbishop.

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    1. Dear Anonymous at 8:27 a.m.,

      I have thought about that, but I do not want to stoop to the level of Tim Rohr. His blogsite is garbage, and I do not want my blog site to be anything like his. I have deleted a lot of classless comments because it is only mockery. I only allowed that one from Anonymous 12:35 a.m. to be published to show that those are the kind of comments you would find in the jungle. There is no honest discussion there. Also, I have no idea why Anonymous poster was doing up past midnight making mocking comments to me. I guess I was on his mind. :-)

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  6. 8:13 why are you complaining of posters hiding as anonymous? You yourself are anonymous. That doesn't make sense.

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    1. Anon 9:10 AM your anonymous yourself.

      Manuel Ayuyu. Wanna see me? Mangilao by the baseball field. How bou that.

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    2. And what do you plan on doing? haha

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  7. An anonymous poster in the jungle demand that the Archbishop publish the financial report and then they will meet with him. The poster said they will meet with him AFTER the financial report is published??? So, what happened to being afraid that their kids will be denied CCD and the Catholic schools??

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  8. The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters.” (Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, Cathol
    Catholic Concerned, Tim Rohr, Chuck White, United and the Rohrbots divorced themselves from the Holy Aposyolic Catholic Church. Gofigan has to obey to seek another Archbishop that will take him. He was told once, twice and he failed to listen. He continue to support a person who is endager to little children. By civil LAW if a person who has a record of being a child molester you are not allowed to be near children.

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    1. Dear Anonymous at 10:57 a.m.,

      One of the anonymous posters above mentioned that Tim Rohr is behind Concerned Catholics. This might be a reason why the Archbishop wants to meet them. He probably wants to see if Tim Rohr or Chuck White is behind Concerned Catholics. In other words, Concerned Catholics may only be Tim Rohr's group.

      From what I understand, the person who was on the Sex offenders list was a rapist rather than a child molester. Nevertheless, the names are on that list to warn the public of the person in the event that they are in the neighborhood so they can keep an eye out for them.

      As Cardinal Arizne said in his book, if a bishop tells a priest to do something, the priest must obey. There is a reason why God allow such things to happen. In the case of Padre Pio, it refined him to sainthood. For the Pope who persecuted Padre Pio, he also learned a valuable lesson from it.

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  9. it is not for us to defend the church or the Arch Bishop but for us to embrace the persecution...praying for those persecute
    Thanks be to God

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    1. Dear J. Bautista,

      You are correct in that we do not need to defend the Church or the Archbishop and that we are to pray for those who persecute us. However, we can also give encouragement to our brothers, and we can correct those who misunderstand Catholic doctrine even if it is taught in the Way.

      2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

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    2. Catholics UnitedJuly 5, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      regarding the request for the audited financials, is it really persecution to ask that considering other dioceses routinely publish theirs annually?

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    3. Dear Catholics United,

      There is nothing wrong with requesting for the audited finances. Examples of persecution are the following, which are all taken from the jungle under the post "So the Archbishop wants to meet". As you can see from the comments, the financial report is not even out yet, and already they are calling for his resignation. Imagine that. The financial report is not out yet, but they are acting as though there is a financial disaster and calling for the Archbishop to resign. Don't you think you should wait and see the financial report first before you even declare a financial disaster?? :

      AnonymousJuly 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      Who pays for the travel of the archbishop to fly around the world,to,these ordinations. Who pays the hotel bills. And what has he done for Guam. Nothing. Flores built this archdiocese this man has bused it and continues to drain resources . When the hell will it stop archbishop, only when you leave will peace be found in Agana.


      Catholics UnitedJuly 4, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      Exit strategy ABAA:

      Stand up for itinerancy Archbishop and just leave. It will be great headlines, "Former Archbishop of Guam renounces all comforts and goes to China to evangelize." Your pals in the NCW will take care of you sir.


      AnonymousJuly 4, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      Archbishop plan a clean exit and you will be ok. Retire early and leave clean. To stay now will be disaster for this church. Please.

      AnonymousJuly 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      Archdiocese of Agana Guam is prevented from growth until Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron leaves office. A divided archdiocese where healing is needed to restore unity. Believe 9. 37am is a central fact and until there is an apostolic visitation into the Metropolitian Archdiocese of Agana Guam USA the archdiocese cannot resolve the serious moral and financial challenges it faces. I am a priest.

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  10. I believe the group is requesting the Diocese publish the 2012 Audit not calling on a present filing.

    In all truth, i believe they probably have it already and just tipping their hat in deference to the Archbishop. Truly if you believe that the left hand knows not what the right hand does then it should be a trivial matter to publish the reports

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  11. In truth I don't know what catholic s united...is united purpose or goals. I only know that Arch Bishop Apuron has answered his call to be missionary...to be Catholic..to be Christian. As a man...a priest, this is never easy..he needs our prayers. Not easy also because we have many catholics on Guam that are comfortable. We're too proud to admit in truth admit that we don't know what is to be missionay, Catholic or Christian. We want...demand explanations and if it contradicts our comfort levels, the truth is easy to ignore. Persecution becomes easier. Apuron the man was chosen. Who am I to contracdict Gods wisdom

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  12. Catholics UnitedJuly 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    J.Bautista,

    this is the Archbishops' missionary car of choice, 60K MSRP

    https://www.hyundaiusa.com/equus/comparison.aspx

    You seem to believe God only works in ONE way.

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    1. Dear Catholics United,

      Do you not know that God always gives the best to His chosen ones?? Did you not learn that in the Holy Bible? Please take the time to read the Holy Bible. Please take the time to know God.

      The Israelites were God's chosen people, and they were slaves. God turned slaves into the great NATION of Israel. David was only a shepherd boy, but he was God's anointed one. And God made David into a KING. God even rewarded Job many times more for his faithfulness after Satan took everything away from Job. The Church was built by Christ, and today that Church is a sovereign nation. Among all of Christianity, only the Catholic Church became a sovereign NATION, with the Pope as the Head of State.

      And here you are asking why the Archbishop has an expensive and luxurious car????? Do you think that God will reward His chosen ones and His children with small, pathetic, and worthless things??

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    2. God did not reward him with a car. He made that choice to go luxurious.... so contradictory to what Pope Francis says about his Bishop's and Priest driving around in the lap of luxury. In fact Pope Francis says it pains him to see this.

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    3. Dear Anonymous at 4:28 pm,

      How would you know that, considering God's generosity toward His children? The popes prior to Pope Francis accepted God's gifts. The popes before Francis wore gold crucifixes while Pope Francis chose to wear a silver one. As a matter of fact, a Jesuit do not esteem themselves to become the Vicar of Christ, but prefer to live out simple lives. But look at what God has done for the Jesuits. He gave one of them the highest office in the Catholic Church, and he did not refuse it.

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    4. Catholics UnitedJuly 6, 2014 at 9:10 PM

      God through the stewardship of our Archbishop has rewarded us with a mountain of debt.

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    5. Dear Catholics United,

      In light of this mountain of debt, do you not find it a miracle that all the Churches on Guam are still open?? There are churches in the United States that are closing down or merging. Yet, you say we have a mountain of debt, but not one single Catholic Church on this island closed down.

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    6. They may no have closed but we are heading down that road; riding in the lap of luxury.

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    7. Dear Anonymous at 5:28 a.m.,

      What lap of luxury? Did the house of the Archbishop change? Is he now living in a grand palace? Do you hear of any parish saying that they are going to close down?

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    8. It's a gift what the Archbishop have, I remember someone bought him a Lexus 18 years ago people were pestering about it and he had to give it up because of criticism. You actually want your leader to ride in rags? Christ ask for a healthy white Colt when he past through palm Sunday.

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    9. Dear Anonymous at 7:51 a.m.,

      Thank you for clearing that up. So, the car was a gift. Then I was correct when I said that God gave the Archbishop a car since it was a gift from someone.

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    10. Yup it's a gift

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  13. In the Bible God did not say live like an animal. There is nothing wrong with nice things cause we all are his creation. He want's the best for us, even for the orphan and then widow.

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  14. "Pope Francis’s mission to cleanse the Catholic Church of luxury"

    “It hurts me when I see a priest or nun with the latest model car. You can’t do this.” He added, “Just think of how many children die of hunger and dedicate the savings to them.” 

    These are the Pope's words. Our Archbishop choose the luxury car because he wants "nice" things but failed to heed the advice of the Holy Father about being ostentatious.

    Also Pope Francis acceptance of the papacy wasn't for power and glory. He accepted to be a humble servant to his people.


    Read the article here about the Pope's views on luxury in the Church: http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/10/austerity-pope


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    1. Dear Anonymous at 8:20 p.m.,

      Pope Francis did not get rid of luxury because the papal apartments are still there. He simply chose to live in the guesthouse, which has more elegant furnishings and a much larger living room to receive guests for meetings and conferences. He also did not get rid of the Pope mobile.

      He did not get rid of the treasures that are already in the Vatican, but he hopes to be an example to those who would live simple lives. All the things we receive came from God. God gave us our talents, jobs, houses, cars, and wealth. However, we are not to worship any of those things and remember who gave them to us. As I said, God rewarded Job with twice as much wealth as he had after Satan took everything away from him.

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  15. United wants the Archbishop to be in rags to represent our island. That is just ansurd. Why don't we have United as our Archbishop and see how that pan out. Your never satisfied.

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  16. It may be that all of us should ask ....pray for the grace to give as the widow in Mark 12:41-44. Many of us give our excess and want recognition. We fail to accept that the church exist by Gods will to serve the poor. The need to service the poor in spirit Guam is great. Care to guess how many of our island children are in the CPS program? Two years ago it was over 300. For a culture that prides itself in taking care of our families...this is pretty sad. How about the prison...the court system..divorces...the homeless.the mentally ill...the abandoned old...the suicides. The church is always there in the background..quietly serving those in need. Our churches maybe poor but their very existence is validation of Gods will. For those demanding justice....don't sweat.....its coming.

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