Saturday, April 2, 2011

Courage: Susanna

Today the lesson at Mass was the story of Susanna.

One of my fears is of humiliation and the bad opinion of others; I have the fault of human respect.  I would be happier without it, and, ironically, less likely to embarrass myself.  Conquering human respect requires courage:  a lively faith and trust in God.  Susanna illustrates this.  She preferred to appear to commit sin rather than to actually commit sin.  Since under the law the word of two witnesses was sufficient to condemn one to death, the accusation of the two elders would seem inescapable.  The whole people, presumably including her husband, seem to believe the worst of Susanna.  She would certainly have expected as much when she chose to refuse the sinful advances of the two elders in the orchard and accept their accusations.  Yet Susanna had courage and refused to consent to sin against God and her husband.

This courage does not go unrewarded.  Having committed herself to this course of action, and in danger of being put to death, Susanna prays to God, and God provides the young man, Daniel.  Susanna is exonerated and the two old men are condemned when Daniel catches them in their lie.

Courage is trusting in God's providence.  I can have courage to do what is right because God will provide what is necessary;  either He will rescue me when I am in trouble, or He will reward my sacrifice in Heaven.

Susanna im Bade by Albrecht Altdorfer
image from Wikimedia Commons


  1. I love the last paragraph. But sometimes waiting for the reward of heaven seems a long way off. I'm reading The Friendship of Christ by right by Robert Hugh Benson, ah wonderful book. And the rewards of heaven seem just a bit closer.

  2. I love the last paragraph. Thank you for that reminder. It can be difficult to remember that God will rescue or reward depending on what I NEED, not what I want.
    God Bless