Our virtue this week is CONSISTENCY – The mature strength to rise to the occasion when your best is needed. The enemies of consistency are laziness and discouragement. We don’t rise to the occasion because we weigh ourselves down by giving in to weakness whether it be physical or mental. Let’s encourage one another to always reject discouragement.
Lord Jesus, You were the most CONSISTENT person every – You never sinned, You never gave in temptation and You never gave in discouragement. We want to be more like You. Please fill us with Your strength. Does anyone have any prayer intentions? Who wants to lead us in a prayer?
Ernest Shackleton had a dream of crossing the Antarctic continent. He put up the following advertisement: Men Wanted for Hazardous Journey. Small Wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.
5,000 men responded. They wanted an adventure. In the end he chose 27 men to accompany him aboard the ship The Endurance. They left on August 9, 1914. They were thwarted only one day’s sail and 97 miles from their destination. The Endurance got stuck in the ice now known as the Ronne ice shelf off the Weddell Sea. A meteorologist reported that on February 14, 1915, the temperature dropped 40 degrees from +20 degrees F to –20 degrees F. The water froze, and they froze in with it.
He announced “abandon ship” on October 27, 1915 (10 months entrapped on ice), and it was –15 degrees F. He bluntly told his crew, “What had happened, had happened – Ship and stores have gone, so now we’ll go home.”
Shackleton changed, fanatically, from accomplishing his goal of Antarctic crossing, to bringing his men home safely. He decided to drag the 1-ton loaded lifeboats for land – Elephant Island. It took them 7 days.
Ultimately, in one of the most remarkable maritime crossings ever undertaken, Shackleton led a six-man crew in search of help across 800 nautical miles of the treacherous Southern Ocean to the island of South Georgia with only a 23-foot whaleboat.
When he departed from Elephant Island towards the end of April, 1916, Shackleton left 22 men behind, with his trusted second, Frank Wild, in command. These men were left to patiently wait for the unknown day when Shackleton would hopefully return. It took four attempts for Shackleton to finally make it back to Elephant Island to save the men left behind.
Finally, August 30, 1916 he made it back to rescue the entirety of his crew; not a single life having been lost.
What do you think was going through the minds of the men who accompanied Shackleton?
Shackleton saved his men because he never quit. Nothing could stop him. He constantly looked for solutions without complaining. How can we be more like that as a team?
When a discouraging thought comes to us today let’s consistently reject it immediately and replace it with a positive, encouraging and hopeful one.
Tell me about a frequent discouraging thought or temptation that you have to fight against?
What can you tell yourself instead to reject those negative thoughts?
Lord, we also want to thank our Blessed Mother Mary for being so CONSISTENT to you and to all of us. She is a wonderful Mother, our Spiritual Mother in Heaven. May we love her as You loved her, Jesus.
Help us all to be more CONSISTENT this week by rejecting discouragement immediately.
WAY TO LIVE THE VIRTUE THIS WEEK
Reject discouragement immediately and consistently.
“Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” – Vince Lombardi
“Success is never permanent, and failure is never final.” – Mike Ditka
“Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.” – Lou Erickson
“Keep moving forward.” – Walt Disney
“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” –
“Do few things, but do them well.” – Francis of Assisi
“If we were humble, nothing would change us – neither praise nor
discouragement.” – Mother Teresa
Matthew 22: 15-22
Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. “Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?”
But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? “Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.
In 1204, the Albigensian heresy was flourishing. This heresy was so dangerous that it even praised the suicide of its members, often by means of self-inflicted starvation! The heresy wrongly taught that all material things, including the human body itself, were fundamentally evil.
The Christian faith teaches otherwise. In fact, it proclaims the very resurrection of the Body.
A group of monks, an order of Benedictines who returned to an ancient Rule known as the Cistercians, were specifically assigned to combat the heresy through prayer, fasting and instruction, but they made little headway. According to writings from the period, some of the monks had become worldly and even pompous in their approach, surrounding themselves with material artifacts which repulsed the Albigensians.
Dominic was austere by comparison to some of these worldly monks and this austerity and personal self discipline appealed to many of the heretics who had been deceived in their thinking.
When Dominic debated the heretics, they could not defend themselves. Naturally, there is no defense against the truth. Many heretics threatened Dominic with violence. Despite the threats, Dominic traveled throughout the region, preaching and converting many back to Catholic Christian faith and practice.