85. One of the more serious temptations
which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism
which turns us into querulous and disillusioned
pessimists, sourpusses. Nobody can go off
to battle unless he is fully convinced of victo-
ry beforehand. If we start without confidence,
we have already lost half the battle and we bury
We do it half-heartedly.
March on, Jesus told the world’s greatest evangelizer, Paul:
While painfully aware of our own
frailties, we have to march on without giving in,
keeping in mind what the Lord said to Saint Paul:
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is
made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9).
Christian triumph is always a cross, yet a cross which
is at the same time a victorious banner borne
with aggressive tenderness against the assaults of
Ne illegitimis carborundum, which is to say, don’t let the bastards wear you down.
The evil spirit of defeatism is brother to the
temptation to separate, before its time, the wheat
from the weeds; it is the fruit of an anxious and
self-centred lack of trust.
Let things play out. You’re a player, not the coach, not the team owner, not the league commissioner, not . . .
On your own, you ain’t nothin’. Keep your cool.