The True Spirit of Heroism
Mst. Marc Gagnier, 9th Grade
The real meaning of heroism is misunderstood today. Many people these days, when thinking about a “hero” imagine some movie celebrity or rock-star. However, those are examples of fake heroism. A hero in the true sense is one who practices heroic virtue for God. In our day and age, the practice of purity takes heroic virtue. Also, love of suffering is a heroic trait because the world promotes the idea that everyone should be comfortable and avoid suffering. Standing up for the truth is also very heroic, as the pressure to just “be like everyone else” is almost overwhelming. Examples of true heroism in today’s secular society are staying pure, doing sacrifices, and standing up for what is right.
Firefighters raise Old Glory, after acting heroically during the events of 9/11.
Today, the practice of virtue is obsolete, especially that of purity. The temptation today is to just “live by your passions.” In practicing purity, a person is in fact denying himself in a heroic way. Since the human will is so weak and very prone to sins of impurity, it takes much courage and strength to resist them. In a world where immodesty runs rampant, one must be on his guard at all times. Impurity is looked upon as something “normal,” or “not too bad.” The peer pressure to be impure is absolutely tremendous. To resist this sin requires the practice of, literally, heroic virtue. It is hard these days too find even a few pure people. However, those few who strive for purity are true heroes in the eyes of God. Christ once said, “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.” Surely God has a very special love for those few pure souls in the world.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor is a hero. In 2006, he saved his fellow SEALs by throwing his body onto a grenade. Two years later, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor,
It is heroic to have a love of sacrifice in a world that flees from suffering. Today the common opinion is that suffering is evil and should be avoided at all costs. This is untrue. Suffering is part of life, for better or for worse. The person who knows how to suffer is the one who really knows what life is all about. There are a great many temptations for one to strive after comfort and pleasure. One who loves suffering and sacrifice, however, avoids all these temptations to pamper his body and be comfortable. He knows the true value of sacrifice and the worthlessness of worldly pleasure. He goes directly against the mentality that one should always get what he wants to satisfy himself. This is truly heroic, especially in a world which teaches that the purpose of life is to have fun. One who has the will-power to suffer and sacrifice in a “pleasurable” world is a hero indeed.
To stand up for what is right and true takes very much courage. Peer pressure is a very powerful thing. We are always affected in some way by our peers, whether it be good or bad. To stand up for what is right is to go against the general flow of opinion and express one’s belief courageously. It is much more heroic to stand up for truth and God’s rights than it is to “take a bullet” for a friend. One who goes against the flow is almost bound to be ridiculed, slandered, and scorned. However, this is very heroic in God’s eyes because He sees that the person who stands for truth is much more concerned about God than his own personal life. One who defends the truth no matter what the consequences is a hero for God indeed.
Aloysius Gonzaga, S.J. an Italian aristocrat who became a member of the Society of Jesus and a model of purity while still very young.
In today’s secular society, true examples of heroism would be practicing purity, having a love of sacrifice, and boldly standing up for what is right, no matter what. It is truly heroic to be constantly defending the beautiful virtue of purity like a great treasure. In a comfortable and pleasurable world, it is positively heroic to practice sacrifice and possess a love of suffering. A person who stands up for what is right in an anti-Catholic world is truly precious in the eyes of God. If one wants to be a real hero, he should not strive after greatness and success in the eyes of the world, but should, in all things, practice the will of God and become a hero for Christ.