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Courage or Cowardice

By Judie Brown

Today’s headlines are awash with crime, the dehumanization of children, and the recognition of gender distortion the likes of which I never thought I would see in my lifetime. Even America’s favorite beer is not off limits. So what is going on?

Well, while a great deal has been penned on the topic, there was one particular article that caught my attention recently. In “Confessions of a Cowardly Catholic,” we find these words: “True submission to the faith, a comprehensive change of mind and heart, is a miracle that only God can work. But at least, at last, I have begun to speak. Though no less a blockhead and a coward than ever, I foresee that I might, with St. Peter’s help, become a blockhead and a coward who, in spite of himself, witnesses steadfastly for God’s truth in the Church.”

The writer, Jeffrey Gordon, experienced a wonderful restoration of faith, thanks, he says, to C.S. Lewis, who “put his finger on my condition.” Gordon then went on to write, “In an essay entitled ‘Man or Rabbit?’ Lewis speaks of ‘a certain shiftiness, a vague worry in the background, a blunting of the whole mental edge’ in the unbeliever who refuses even to consider the claims of Christ. If this evasiveness in an unbeliever constituted, as Lewis said, a loss of ‘intellectual virginity,’ then a virtual apostate such as I surely stood convicted of philosophical promiscuity. Lewis held up a mirror, and in it I saw that I had lost even my rough resemblance to the bumbling Simon Peter; I saw instead the trembling whiskers of Peter Rabbit.”

While Gordon’s entire article is worth the read, I was stunned with how his words match the hesitancy among so many otherwise stalwart Christians to speak out loud about Christ at a time when we are killing millions of babies, misidentifying persons created in the image and likeness of God, and otherwise trashing the natural order.

The challenges we face reminded me of Pope Benedict XVI’s words, “Stand firm in the faith! Do not let yourselves be confused!”

Today we can certainly appreciate the pope’s words as we strive to do everything we can to speak and act in the Truth of Christ, even when it seems no one is listening. C.S. Lewis would certainly agree, but he cautioned, as so many spiritual writers have, that we cannot do much of our own accord.

Lewis put it this way: “Morality is a mountain which we cannot climb by our own efforts; and if we could we should only perish in the ice and unbreathable air of the summit, lacking those wings with which the rest of the journey has to be accomplished. For it is from there that the real ascent begins. The ropes and axes are ‘done away’ and the rest is a matter of flying.”

The human being who seeks to think with the mind of Christ will have the courage to make that assent, to attest to the evils in our midst, and to witness to truth without apology. The human being who chooses to step away from that challenge in order to achieve worldly comfort of some sort or other cannot help but play the role of the coward, for that is what he is.

Does the world make it easy for us to be courageous? Of course not. But as we know, with Christ all things are possible, as indeed, He has already overcome the world.

Lewis challenges each of us, for as he explains, once we are remade in Christ, we will be surprised to find “a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy.”

Courage or cowardice? Devoted pro-life people choose Christ! And we choose courage no matter what.