I especially like the fact that the word courage derives from the Old French word for heart: so the Spirit's gift to me is heart - something dear to any Religious of the Sacred Heart! And within that a call to "take heart", as we often say to those needing courage, which for me is a call to take all the strength that Jesus offers me in and through his Heart.
I'm also thinking of a reflection I read only yesterday, in which the author wrote:
Maybe courage is really the invitation from Jesus to have a big heart. Could it be that Jesus just wants me to live the way he lives - with love and compassion for others - and be unafraid when it comes to speaking up for the poor?
And that, of course, brings me to gentleness, the fruit of all this strengthening and taking heart - and the call to be gentle with others, as well as with myself. And with this combination I feel as though I've been given both sides of the Spirit: the fiery, burning strength of courage, combined with the gentleness of a dove. May they both be with and in me, filling my inmost being, enabling me to be a woman with a big, open heart.
Happy Feast everybody - and may the Spirit bestow on you the gifts and fruits you most need at this time!