Our earthly life is a succession of struggles and conquests for survival, and above all, to attain Heaven, the reward of true heroes.

W hen we contemplate a horizon dominated by a limpid blue sky, we are enchanted by its placidity. Nevertheless, this same wide expanse may have been the stage for feats of intrepidity that are seemingly at odds with the tranquil appearance of the panorama.

I am not referring to stunts performed by an aviator before spellbound crowds. The “hero” of whom I speak is indeed a great defier of the skies. But he does not seek to shine before men, for his “war” is for survival and is a daily routine. The prowess of this fighter usually goes unnoticed, but when we witness it, we are filled with admiration.

This figure is not entirely beyond our reach; all we have to do is lift our gaze skyward and there we will find the falcon, in full flight, waging its arduous battle.

When it glides through the air, it is the picture of serene composure, which in no way hinders it from being attentive to everything that is happening around it. It thus evokes the state of mind of vigilance and prayer, taught by the Master to His disciples and followers of all times.

The falcon’s “battlefield” transcends that of other birds of prey, which usually capture ground animals. It, in turn, prefers riskier adventures and costlier conquests by seeking airborne game. Once the target is fixed with its acute, broad and analytical vision, it attacks with speed. Cutting through the winds and closing the distance with prodigious vitality, it seizes its prey with an élan worthy of its dignity. After a previous and careful calculation, the attack was impetuous, and the result was successful: behold, the falcon returns victorious from its expedition.

We can find in this bird an image of how the human will acts. Before doing anything, man draws up a plan: it is intelligence that acts. Once the objective has been defined, it penetrates into the heart, that is, the will. Then the person uses the necessary means to accomplish what he has conceived, in a manner similar to the direct and energetic flight of the creature contemplated in this article.

Our earthly life is a series of struggles and conquests for survival and, above all, to attain Heaven, the reward of the true heroes who fight for God’s cause. It is up to us to weigh the challenges and to set out enthusiastically to meet them, following the advice from the Letter to the Hebrews: “let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (12:1-2).

Let us not flee from the pain that wounds our senses. On the contrary, let us embrace suffering in imitation of the divine Redeemer: “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross” (Heb 12:2). With resolute steps and with soul ablaze, let us advance towards holiness, defying every obstacle so as to become instruments for the glorification of God and the exaltation of Holy Church, which will bring us eternal salvation. And let us never forget that on this pilgrimage we will never be alone: a Mother full of goodness and mercy watches over each one of us and points the way to the eternal dwelling place.


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