I can see it now . . . You and your friend at the zoo near the lion’s cage.
“I dare you to feed your hamburger to the lion through the cage.”
“C’mon! Be fearless! Isn’t that what this year’s theme is all about?”
Although my name is Mark, let me be frank with you: That is not fearless, that is stupid.
It kind of goes back to that age old saying, “If someone told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?” Fearless does not mean setting our common sense and conscience aside. (For more on conscience, see CCC 1777-1778) Rather, it means using prudence to discern the good and then choosing to courageously act on that good.
As we strive to be fearless this year, we are not striving to set aside caution for the sake of doing something really cool yet most-likely harmful to ourselves. Let me show you what I mean.
Fearless Doesn’t Mean . . .
- Eating ten cinnamon buns from Cici’s pizza in one minute because of a dare. (That’s called gluttony. Don’t worry. I confessed this in Reconciliation already.)
- Fighting a bear. (Unless you’re defending your Mom, that’s called courage.)
- Throwing a smoke bomb in the road (Oh man . . . When I was 16 my friend did this right when a cop drove by . . . I promise you, not fearless, just stupid.)
- Spending all your money on the lottery.
- Sneaking into your neighbor’s pool.
- Sneaking into another movie without buying a new ticket, AKA a “double whammy.” (“You shall not steal.” The Seventh Commandment, Exodus 20:15, Deuteronomy 5:19, Matthew 19:18, CCC 2429)
- Breaking into your school during the summer. (It’s summer! Why would you go back there anyway?)
- Staying in an unhealthy relationship.
- Going to a party that may be dangerous for your body or soul.
- Trying to cheat on a test without getting caught.
How to Decide Whether to Be Fearless or Not
Okay, so maybe at first glance, some of these were pretty obvious. But what if they aren’t so obvious?
The easiest way to decide whether or not to BE FEARLESS in a given situation is to ask, “Why do I feel cautious about doing/saying this?”
You were given a conscience by God the Father, the creator of your soul. If you are seeking to follow the Lord, then this test question should bring truth to the surface. Still, our conscience is often clouded by the world, the flesh, and the devil and so we must pray for God to grant us prudence.
Prudence is the virtue which helps a person know good from bad and choose to accomplish the good action (CCC 1806). The more we pray for prudence and learn from our mistakes, the more we find ourselves fearlessly making the right choices.
Post a comment with some more things you shouldn’t be fearless about (they can be funny!).