This is a year of military anniversaries.  Catsfield has just hosted a superb exhibition on the Great War and Crowhurst’s commemorative weekend is at the end of this month.  The sons of those who fought in that war, of course, sadly grew up to fight in the Second World War. Only recently the seventieth anniversaries of the battle for Monte Cassino and D-Day have also been marked.


At the D-Day services, in the Bayeux cemetery and on the front at Arromanches, I was struck by a specially written prayer for the Normandy veterans. It asked for blessing, strength and comradeship ‘in the name of Jesus whose courage never failed.’  You certainly need courage when you know that what you are about to do could result in your death, or serious injury.


For me it is comforting and supportive that Our Lord knew what it was to be concerned about the future, but still showed great courage.  On the night He was arrested, tried and condemned to death He had to seek courage to go on.  He always knew that it was His vocation to lay down His life for others, upon the cross, but it is not something He looked forward to.  His last few hours were spent in the Garden of Gethsemane, a stone’s throw from safety, if he had fled into the Judean desert.  But He didn’t flee; He showed courage and accepted that a sacrifice must be made and He went through with the cross.


Among other things the cross is a symbol of courage shown, so it is right that our war graves stand in its shadow.  We all need courage when we stand up for what is right, refuse to abandon our principles or are pilloried for standing firm.


When we are anxious we can remember the courage of Christ.  ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid…’ is the courageous prayer in the letter of the Hebrews (13:6).  Let us make it ours also       


Father Michael

Posted By: valerie

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