Encouragement…. We All Need It !

Encouragement is so important. We all need to be encouraged. Any one who achieves any level of success has someone encouraging them. Encouragement comes in many “shapes and sizes”… sometimes it’s a word from someone who is close to you…a good friend, a spouse, a spiritual advisor. Other times it’s from someone you don’t know, who you never met…but their words and example touch you and cause you to keep going. And of course our constant “encourager” is the Lord. The Holy Trinity is always there for us… with eyes constantly gazing on us with love. (ref. Mark 10:21) 

Three people who I never met have encouraged me over the last days. The wonderful life of Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) who provided a solid rock for the church over many years…always reliable, someone who you could rely on to speak the truth and to lead us thru many storms. Another wonderful and strong leader just passed away yesterday… Cardinal George Pell of Australia. He was falsely accused and imprisoned for 404 days in solitary confinement before being exonerated and released. He was a strong leader who never became bitter at the lies and slander directed toward him. He never lost his sense of humor. In my mind, he was another St. Thomas Moore. (remember the great movie “Man For All Seasons”.) Check out his “Prison Journals” that he wrote during those 404 days.

The last one is St. Joseph Escrivas, the founder of Opus Dei. His words continue to inspire and encourage. “ Don’t neglect your spiritual reading; reading has made many saints…. he mentioned that one event began to give me an inkling of what love is, to help me realize that my heart was yearning for something great. He was especially touched and changed by reading the scriptures… a book filled with useful instruction and especially a place to encounter Christ.” (Magnificat, 1-11-23) Let’s pay attention to these words.

These three great leaders have been and are an encouragement to me; they call me on in following the Lord thru “thick & thin”. The following Intercessions (1-12-23 Magnificat) spoke to me as I read them while thinking of these great men. It reads, “As disciples of the risen Lord , we pray for those appointed to tasks of leadership that they may lead your people in the way of holiness….. that they lead the way with joy to the mountain of the Lord… that they, now having passed through the gates of death, may rejoice for all eternity.” As disciples of the risen Lord we pray these prayers for Joseph Ratzinger, George Pell, and Joseph Escrivas and for all who have encouraged us through their lives of holiness.

So let’s allow ourselves to be encouraged by all those the Lord puts in our paths… those close to us and even those who have passed into eternity. We have a wonderful  cloud of witnesses cheering for us to continue to fight the good fight of faith. One day may we be with them and be able to thank them for all the help they gave us. That will be a wonderful day. Oh, and let’s remember to be encouragers ourselves for all the beautiful brothers and sisters who surround us. This is all good news.

2 thoughts on “Encouragement…. We All Need It !

  1. As we notice the Lord working in our lives, we not only give courage to them but we honor the Lord for his grace achieving its results! It’s almost a way of praising and thanking the Lord and the encourager gets built up as well🙌🏻


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