Bold. The word “bold” sounds to me onomatopoeic. One syllable that cuts to the chase: strong, direct, emphatic, without equivocation. Bold. There’s no mistaking it for wish-washy, ambivalent, tentative.
The spiritual journey problem for me is that when I try to be bold in dealing with fellow humans, finding it hard to be assertive, I become, instead, mouthy, rude: aggressive. And then regretting that behavior, I reinforce my not being bold, if that makes any sense.
Interesting, though. The One with Whom I should be most afraid of being bold, I am not the least so!
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Hmmm… Why is that so? Do I have no respect, no reverent fear, no sense of the Infinite?
Yes, I do…There is only one answer to why I, a poor, weak, sinner-creature could presume to go “boldly” before the throne of grace, and that answer is well expressed by St. Paul:
“…in [Christ Jesus Our Lord] we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. (Ephesians 3:12)
And that explains that the “boldness” with which I approach the throne of grace is “confidence” in Christ Jesus, Who said that He is the Way to the Father.
Another translation of Hebrews 4:16 bears out that “bold-ly; bold-ness” connotation:
“So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”
Praise God for the confidence we can have in Him….
Maybe that explains why I find it difficult to act boldly with fellow human beings. Maybe I know that we all are imperfect; that I cannot count on justice, let alone mercy! Maybe fear and cynicism keeps me from making myself vulnerable—transparent, in a way—to trust letting someone else know my hopes, fears, desires, complaints, needs etc.
So, until I get comfortable being assertive in human relationships that have to do with personal aspects, I hope that at least in terms of my Baptismal privileges and responsibilities, I can be bold in my dealings with fellow human beings in the way that St. Paul also stated…that having boldly/confidently approached the Throne of Grace, I can share that grace, boldly/confidently proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the way appointed to me because to the extent that the Lord appoints, in my little area of the world, with believers and nonbelievers:
“To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ, and to bring to light [for all] what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things …This was according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness of speech and confidence of access through faith in him.” (Ephesians 3:8-9,11-12)
Everything up to this point was written before Mother Angelica’s death Easter Sunday. Now, I realize I could rewrite this post to speak to her holy boldness. I might do that for the next post. For now, I will just add this postscript:
“Boldness should be the eleventh commandment.”
– Mother Angelica
Those who knew and worked with her said that her bold faith emboldened others…
Now I realize that this boldly holy woman lived my “If only…”