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Living Strong: Follow the Example of Young St. Tarcicius

By Nikolai R. Brelinsky
April 17th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

How many times a day do we feel that we are being bullied or pushed around?  How many times do we stand up for ourselves and our beliefs?  It may seem easy to just "let it slide" and be pushed around, but once in a while, we must stand up for ourselves, our beliefs, and our brothers.

ZEBULLON, NC (Catholic Online) - So many times, I have heard people question, or say questionable things, about my faith.  The easiest thing to do would be to ignore them.  I could walk away as though they had said nothing, in order to avoid conflict.  Instead, I choose to confront them. 

It may take one simple comment or hours of arguing, but I always try to get my point across.  Sometimes I have to just let it go; I've made my point and they have made their own.  An important thing about having faith is that we must show the world that we really believe it.  Often, this takes great courage.

It is not very hard to see the lack of courage in our times.  The military now accounts for less than one percent of the United States population.  So many children now live without fathers and, sometimes, mothers.  Bullying is a huge problem in schools. 

So many people who call themselves Christians don't even go to church.  The reasons for some of these problems can be based on one thing: people are afraid to live a moral life for fear of "shame".

But what is there to be ashamed of?  If we truly believe in our faith, in God Almighty, why are we scared to live how we are supposed to?  We don't have to be.  The Holy Spirit endows us with the virtue of Courage.

Courage helps us to stand by our beliefs and against opposition.  I can't think of a single saint who does not exemplify this virtue, but one saint stands out in particular to me.  St. Tarcicius was an early Christian, a child, alive during the Roman persecution. 

Despite the fact that he was only a young boy, he braved the dangers of being caught by guards to bring the Holy Eucharist to prisoners.  This young boy had enough courage to die for his faith.  What is holding us back from doing the same?

Why do people let their faith and beliefs be attacked?  Between government official's ideas, media trash-talk, or other people's mistaken presumptions, the Catholic faith is attacked every day.  It is our duty to stand up to defend our faith. 

We are the vehicle through which God often acts!  With Him on our side, what- or who - do we have to fear?  We should pray for the virtue of courage, so that every day we can be prepared to live out our faith for the greater glory of God!

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Nikolai Brelinsky lives in North Carolina.  He attends Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Rocky Mount.  He is a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol cadet program.  Nikolai plans on possibly going to college in the future. He is a home-schooled high school student.

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