Resources: September 2021~Courage

September Title Photo

https://www.lovethispic.com/tag/september+pics

downloadable PDF:  Women of Faith Resources September 2021

Quotes for September

“Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soil.” ~ Peggy Toney Horton

“September is the month of maturity, the heaped basket and the garnered sheaf. It is the month of climax and completion.” ~ Patience Strong (1951).  “The Glory of the Garden”

“Nostalgia—that’s the Autumn, dreaming through September, just a million lovely things I always will remember.” ~  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Our Virtue for September:  Courage

Christian courage is grace-given and grounded in the Spirit of God, offering us the motivations and intuitions that we need to face our ever-changing, daily lived experiences. The last weeks and months presented us with a season that placed us, often enough, in a state of fear and trepidation. Instead of paralyzing or panicking when facing intimidating fear or trepidation, courage transforms such circumstances into hope and a sense of opportunity. Courage bolsters us to take risks, to make sacrifices, and to be selfless. Courage helps us to withstand and grow through ongoing pain, suffering, isolation, and other debilitating situations.

This foundational virtue is so important that, according to Jesus, some people walk away from faith because they don’t possess enough courage. In Jesus’ illuminating Parable of the Sower, He describes a person who receives the Good News with initial jubilation, but, in a moment of trial, falls away. His disciples didn’t quite get what Jesus was talking about, so they pressed Him for additional information. Jesus’ explanation tells us something profound about the relationship between courage, faith, and life everlasting. To read the parable and its explanation, go to the Gospel of Saint Mark Chapter 4:1-20.

Some synonyms or qualifiers of courage: daring, endurance, fearlessness, guts, and venturesomeness.

Scriptures on Courage

As we pray with these scriptures, we place ourselves into the Scripture passage.  We are encouraged to go to the biblical citations to read them in context.  What other citations do you know on courage?

Psalm 27:1  “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”

Deuteronomy 31:6  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, … for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

John 16:33  “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Courage in Our Daily Lives

As we move into September (late summer or early autumn), we seek ways to live with courage in our daily lives:

  • The courage to admit when you are wrong.  It’s a bold act to admit when you make a mistake.
  • The courage to take responsibility and be accountable.
  • The courage to step into the unknown and learn something new.
  • The courage to be kind and truthful with others.
  • The courage to live a life that is true to yourself, even if that sometimes means standing alone.
  • The courage to advocate for others when you see an injustice.
  • The courage to be explicit about your values. To be a voice for good.
  • The courage to accept constructive criticism with grace.  To look inward and confront your own imperfections.
  • The courage to have difficult conversations. To share, but even more importantly, to listen.
  • The courage to approach life with curiosity instead of judgement.
  • The courage to welcome life’s challenges, the obstacles, the hardships, and the wisdom they all bring.
  • The courage to dream big. To incessantly be in pursuit of the most beautiful and fulfilling version of a life you could possibly imagine for yourself.

Spiritual Reading

The following articles can nurture our sense of courage in our daily life.  You are invited to reflect on the contents as you read.

Living a Courageous Life:  Be Strong and Courageous  This site and article seek to bring busy women the hope and encouragement of God’s Word.

Living Life with Courage and Compassion at Seeker Project 4 Spiritual Exploration (SP4SE). The opening lines of this article describe its intent: “Courage, hope, compassion, and vulnerability are the doorways to the heart. Learn how to live from the heart, have fewer regrets and more victorious memories. Living life from the heart is the goal. It enables us to live with courageous compassion while being vulnerable and keeping a positive and hopeful attitude.

Titles and authors to explore online or in your favorite bookstore to deepen an understanding of courage:

Ladder to the Light: An Indigenous Elder’s Meditations on Hope and Courage by Steen Charleston, January 5, 2021

Take Heart: 100 Devotions to Seeing God when Life’s Not Okay by (in)Courage (author), Grace Cho (editor), Anna Rendell (editor), October 20, 2020.

Do It Afraid: Embracing Courage in the Face of Fear by Joyce Meyer and Faith Word, September 1, 2020 (Audible Audiobook)

Music that Nurtures Courage

The music listed below can guide and enhance our experience of courage.

528Hz – Unstoppable Courage & Confidence – LET GO of Worries & Overthinking – Theta Binaural Beats Music that dissipates lack of courage and calms the mind.

relaxdaily  This music is uplifting, giving out positive energy.

God Is So Good / O Come Let Us Adore Music for strength.

Art that Depicts Courage

Spend some time in prayer as you gaze on the artwork below. Let the images enter your heart to guide your daily lived experience of courage.

 

Person Jumping Between Cliffs

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/538883911660978443/

Did you ever feel like you symbolically needed to jump across a chasm? Remember your feelings?  What did it take for you to cross that chasm? What did you learn about courage from that experience?

 

Cat with a lion shadow

https://articles.bplans.com/do-you-have-the-courage-to-price-high/

Reflect on this image. Imagine yourself as the kitty. Imagine yourself as the kitty who sees her shadow as a lion.  What lived experiences about courage come to mind as you reflect on this image?

 

ee cummings quote

https://amonemoney.tumblr.com/post/54022323607/it-takes-courage-to-grow-up-and-turn-out-to-be

Oh, the wisdom of E.E. Cummings, a favorite poet of mine.  Meditate on this quote as lived by you.  Explore other of Cummings’ poems online.

Websites on Courage

Courage International

Authentic Happiness at UPenn.edu

Moral Courage.com

Common Sense Education: Courage Activities and Tools for Students

Deep Spirituality: Stories of Courage in the Bible

Rome Reports: Pope Francis-Words on Hope and Courage during COVID-10 Pandemic

 

Have Courage and Be Kind

From all of us at Gatherings for Women of Faith SSA to all of you:  STAY WELL.