Letter from the Publisher
“O God, who dost manifest Thy almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity…” The collect of the 10th Sunday after Pentecost so reveals the essential quality of divine fortitude. By excellence—and more than in other aspects of creation—God shows His Fortitude by endowing His creature with freedom and telling them them: “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:27). Adam and Eve and all their children could be faithful to the Lord, but they could also revolt against Him. God, because of “His almighty power,” allows Himself to expose His work, and His honor, to the danger of their freedom.
After men had initially refused to obey God and had stood up against His strength, God took a second risk. He decided to send His Son. Humanly speaking, how much fortitude must it have taken for Christ to step into this world, into all the falsehood, the brutal cruelty, and the disgraceful narrowness of our existence? Christ was not blindsided by naive daydreams, nor biased by the pride of modern man, nor tempted by the tactics of politicians. On the contrary, He came into the world, not to repay guile with guile or blow with blow. He came in the vulnerability of selfless and unprotected perfection.
Let us compare His fortitude with our weaknesses. Jesus faced all the situations of His life courageously. He accepted a simple and unspectacular duty of state, along the violence and crookedness that men inflicted upon Him. We, however, shield ourselves by all manner of means. Christ accepted what the progression of events brought upon Him, for this was the will of the Father. We do not accept the world as it is, but tend choose what pleases us and to refuse what displeases. We know how to conform in the face of contradiction, how to go around difficulties, how to catch our advantages, and how to find the easy way.
May the contributions in this issue of The Angelus enlighten us on the virtue of Fortitude and instill in us the noble wish to follow His example. He was strong and became man, not to please Himself, not to accomplish something simply spectacular, not to find temporary fulfillment in a noble cause, but for our redemption and for our sake. He manifested his selfless, humble, and patient fortitude, that we might gain the courage to be real Christians.
Fr. Jürgen Wegner