Some Helpful Thoughts on Spiritual Progress BY REV. EDWARD F. GARESCHE, SJ.
THE PROPER STAND
MODESTY and humility are admirable virtues. But timidity and faintheartedness are merely vices. It is not easy to draw the line between them, and to discern just where modesty becomes timid and where humility degenerates into weakness, but we should pray to be delivered from false humility as from a plague.
Not long ago a Catholic lady whose executive ability has put her at the head of an important concern was speaking with some emphasis of the easy way in which Catholics are content to take the background and to let themselves be crowded off the stage of active effort. "What a pity," said she (repeating almost word for word, though unconsciously, the cynical gibe of the French infidel, "what a pity that the good people are so timid. There is no sense in taking a back seat and being diffident just because one is a Catholic. We Catholics have just as much right as any other class of citizens to come forward and occupy a prominent position.
"As for me," she went on, with an energetic shake of the head, I never hesitate to speak my mind quite clearly. I take my stand and choose my position, and if anyone comes along and seems to think that, being a Catholic, I have no right to be prominent, I turn the tables on him. 'Well,' I say, 'here I am in possession—what are you going to do about it ?' and of course I find that no one does anything at all. If we were a little more assured of our position, if we took our abilities a little more for granted, and stood more firmly on our rights, we should soon find that others would take our rights for granted too, and never think of disputing them. What many of our Catholics need is not more talent nor more opportunity; they need more of that sturdy quality which is expressed in the good, homely term 'spunk.' "