Good morning!

This morning I’ve decided to write about encouragement!

Think of a child who is learning something new and difficult, think of how many times they say “I can’t” and “it’s too hard” etc.

And what do you do?

You encourage their efforts, you tell them that it’s normal to find it hard, that it’ll take time! You reward their successes and you persevere with them!

Perhaps the most encouraging person I ever met was my uncle! More than any priest or doctor he had a faith made of steel and a gift of encouragement!

‘Put it behind you’ he’d say as once again I was misunderstood!

‘there is a way with Jesus’ he’d say when he didn’t know what to say!

‘I am proud of you and I love you’ he’d say because he knew that my dad would never say it!

And because He believed in me, so did I!

I have noticed over the years that we don’t encourage each other enough! Maybe people are afraid that you’ll get prideful and so they say nothing, maybe they are jealous because nobody has encouraged them but whatever the reason, it is not good!

We all need encouragement on the road to holiness because it is hard and the world is hard!

In the community that I am part of the leader (who is a giant) always gives me a charismatic hug and encourages me. It makes such a difference as I have often struggled to live the life of radical spirituality that God has asked of me and found myself sad and undermined.

The gift of encouragement is like Simon who helped Jesus carry the cross! It is too easy to say to someone to put their cross down and to do something easier, it is a true grace to look at someone with love in the eyes as they are crushed by the weight of their cross and to pick it up with them and to help them to carry it!

Simon wasn’t so willing to help Jesus at the start, it’s normal, often I too want to run away from broken people moaning and groaning and just live my own life…..but what if that person has only me? What if they need me? And what if my uncle had given up on me?

And so today I encourage all (myself included) to encourage eachother!

Thank you for choosing to follow Jesus, for the sacrifices of your time, energy, emotions!

Thank you for your perseverence, for doing your best in spite of your wounds and weaknesses!

Thank you for your example and witness in today’s hostile world!

Thank you for all your hidden prayers and sacrifices that only God knows about!

And so today, pick one or two people in your life and pick up the phone and encourage them!

I promise you that after that call that you will feel even more encouraged than them!

Have an encouraging day!