Posts Tagged 'Virtue'


When I think of someone who responded to God’s call in their life with courage I think of St. Thomas Aquinas. It is not always easy to follow the Lord in the path toward a vocation to the priesthood or the consecrated life, especially as many among our own families and friends look down upon this vocation. In fact, the Lord allows us to endure misunderstanding and at times even tension in our own family life in order to prepare us to a closer walk with Him and the universal family that is the Church. These trials are only part of the journey, but they call for the virtue of courage in enduring them with love.

St. Thomas’ family was of low nobility (his father a Count and his mother a Countess) and had great ambitions for young Thomas. He was given an excellent education by the Benedictine Monks of Monte Cassino, were his parents thought he would one day hold an important position. When Thomas expressed his desire to join the newly founded Order of Preachers (the Dominicans), his family immediately said “no”. The Dominicans, along with the Franciscans, were a mendicant order and did not meet the circle of influence his family wanted Thomas to be associated with. After being held prisoner in his own house for two years, he courageously persevered in his vocation, even as a prostitute was brought in to seduce him, and was finally snuck out of his prison by his brothers.

We recognize that family and friends don’t always understand what God might be calling us to, but like St. Thomas we must confront our call with courage. It takes a lot to say “yes” to God and to meet one’s challenges face on. St. Thomas understood that to follow Christ one must at times be willing to even be misunderstood by one’s own family. Courage to go against someone else’s values and against what they think will make us happy is not easy, especially when those others are our own family, friends, co-workers, etc. Let us pray for the courage to follow Christ who promises the fulfillment and peace the world cannot give us!

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