Editorial by Andrea Grant, Mission Leader
Courage takes on a particular perspective as we move through the season of Lent, a time of healing and renewal. It invites us to reflect deeply on our lives and consider what might be deadening for us, and conversely what is life-giving. Where are the ruptures that might require healing? Do they come in the form of broken relationships, or holding onto past hurts? What are the challenging situations in our lives which require some work, or even acceptance? Finding the courage to break open these cracks can allow for the emergence of new growth and transformation.
I recently read a reflection on International Women’s Day prepared by Good Samaritan Sister Meg Kahler. Titled ‘Be Bold and Brave’, Meg spoke of the various ways courage appears in the lives of women:
“When I was a child, to be told you had been “bold” meant you had done something wrong – usually that you had spoken out of turn or broken some other social convention. I can see why it may be a good encouragement for women – to speak up, to break some social convention that is no longer helpful. Bold and brave is a characteristic shared by many: women who leave relationships that are abusive or violent; women who do whatever is needed to protect children; women who play in the first ever professional football competition; women who work in jobs they love but are usually done by men; women who live in distant, frightening or difficult places; and all the women who try new things because a voice inside guides them to it. God seeks those who can make a difference, who can stand against those who do wrong by the people. This is the space where bold and brave people often stand – at the junction where violence and wrong collides with peace and love. It is a battle. It requires great wisdom, faith and love to fill that gap. Many people do step into this gap and draw on their bravery and boldness to stay there.”
As we journey towards Easter we are invited in our hearts to accompany Jesus to the cross. We are called to stand in the space where bold and brave people stand, where injustice collides with peace and love. This is the inspiration we draw from Jesus, who broke those social conventions of his time which oppressed the marginalised. Jesus invited criticism and rejection by consistently challenging, in small ways and large, power structures which enabled inequity and injustice. He shows us how we are called to live courage, to live differently. We are invited to greet and embrace even that which we do not want as the very means of our own transformation. To borrow the words of Matthew Baker, Social Justice Coordinator at Marian College Sunshine, what do we need to work on in ourselves in order to invite it in others?
Kildare Ministries Mission Leader