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By Kelly Wahlquist: "A Heart of Courage" Courtesy of Ave Maria Press. All rights reserved.

A Heart of Courage

One cannot love without suffering

or suffer without loving.

Saint Gianna Molla

I never realized how fragile a heart could be until the day I watched a group of four-year-olds tell my sweet three-year-old that she couldn’t play with them. As I watched her lip quiver and her eyes swell with tears, I thought, “My heart can’t take this. How can I possibly make it through her first breakup with a boyfriend or any pain that ever befalls her?”

Turns out I needed courage. Courage is the core of a mother’s love, and if we are in need of it, all we need to do is to look to the one who is the perfect example of courage from the moment she is told that God has a plan for her life that will radically change the world.

From the moment of the Annunciation on, Mary lived with the greatest courage, because she lived with the greatest love. We can learn from and be nurtured in the virtue of courage by entering with her into that which embodies the greatest courage ever exhibited in one of God creatures—Mary’s seven sorrows.

Through the seven sorrows comes the realization that God does not spare us from pain. Our pain, however, can coexist with God’s peace when we trust him. God can use our pain to draw us closer to him and he can use it to save souls.

Lord, help me turn to Our Lady of Sorrows if I ever have difficulty trusting in you.

To Ponder: Mary experienced the greatest pain, yet she constantly believed in the will of God. Looking back, were there painful times that you now see as beautiful pieces of God’s plan for your life?

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Copyright 2016 Kelly Wahlquist for The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion.
Reprinted with the kind permission of Ave Maria Press. All rights reserved.

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