The courageous die once, cowards die every day! A hard statement that sounds bold, but is it bold?
They say, the beauty in building anything lies in the foundation. There are rules that apply to this. I mean if a man is just a little off at the base, by the time he reaches the roofline, he’s shingling on the house next door, right?
What helps us to adjust and make good choices.
For example, there are “Cardinal Rules” which in themselves fall into the category of common sense, they’re unwritten rules. Like the old Jim Croce song said, “You don’t spit into the wind, You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Jim.” Cardinal rules can keep you from making huge mistakes like allowing Jim to wipe the sidewalk with your backside.
There are also “Cardinal Virtues.” The word cardinal comes from” Cardo” meaning “a hinge, ” in that, everything revolves around them.
While, Cardinal Rules exist without changing, follow them and folks will say that you have common sense; break them and ‘old Jim will pound your ass into the dirt. The Cardinal Virtues: WISDOM, TEMPERANCE, COURAGE and JUSTICE were formulated in Greek philosophy and affirmed by St. Thomas Aquinas as special graces given by God to the soul for the accomplishment of particular objectives. They inhere in the soul and are subject to strengthening or weakening, if left unused.
I’ve read the Apostle Peter was bold one night in the garden drawing a sword as a cohort of 400 approached to arrest Christ, a few hours later he coward by the charcoal fire, denying that he even knew Jesus; this was cowardly! In John chapter 21, the Apostle records how Christ’s Divine Mercy restores Peter and sets him on a path, a courageous journey to lead the Church.
Cardinal Rules come from the basement of time because trials dictate their truth. Wisdom on the other hand comes from God (Proverbs 2:6), Temperance is the strength to manage our passions and our strength can be renewed (Isaiah 41) by God. When these two virtues are combined and put into action, courage is given life again (Joshua 1:9) and justice springs forth (Micah 6:8).
This is an active, ongoing, need to repeat everyday process. And, if you work at it you will die many times in spirit and strength along the way.
But, if you will hang in there just one minute longer, you’ll hear what Peter heard: “Cast your nets to the right side.” It is the place where you find Divine Mercy, the place where you’re restored and courageous and the boldest once more. Ain’t it so!
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