I received a lovely email from a sister wishing me a blessed time on the upcoming pilgrimage, which ended with: “…may you be gifted with much ‘courage and confidence, but above all great confidence.’ -Marie Madeleine.”
Henri Nouwen has the following to say on courage:
“Have courage,” we often say to one another. Courage is a spiritual virtue. The word courage comes from the Latin word cor, which means “heart.” A courageous act is an act coming from the heart. A courageous word is a word arising from the heart. The heart, however, is not just the place where our emotions are located. The heart is the centre of our being, the centre of all thoughts, feelings, passions, and decisions.
To live courageously then is to live from the heart; impassionedly, authentically and humbly.
• How is your heart? Describe its colour, weight or feel. Is it light or heavy? Does it feel full and vibrant or sunken in and wary? Perhaps there are pebbles resting at the bottom, and you only notice their rattling if you let your heart be moved. Do you know what feelings, qualities or attributes lie in your heart at this moment?
• When did you last have a ‘heart-to-heart’ conversation with a friend or loved one? When did you last have one with God?