- true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.
- steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends.
- reliable, trusted, or believed.
- strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.
- adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate:
a faithful copy.
- stiff or unyielding; not pliant or flexible; hard: a rigid strip of metal.
- firmly fixed or set.
- inflexible, strict, or severe: a rigid disciplinarian; rigid rules of social behavior.
- exacting; thorough; rigorous: a rigid examination.
- so as to meet precise standards; stringent: lenses ground to rigid specifications.
Look at the similarities in the definitions. Particular words are used in the same numerical sequence for each word being defined. Numbers 4 and 5 correspond in an uncanny way. Number 4 uses the word "thorough" under both words. Number 5 refers to "standards" under both words. Definition number 2 uses the word "steady" for faithful, and the words "firmly fixed" for rigid.
Is it possible that the individual who is striving to be faithful to Christ and His Church could be mischaracterized as being rigid? Would we label some of the canonized saints as being rigid because of their austere practices of penance?
Let me combine each of the definitions in five statements.
1. For each of you striving to be true to your baptismal promises, thank you for being unyielding to the temptation to sin.
2. For each of you who are steady in allegiance and affection to Christ, thank you for staying firmly fixed and set on your desire for sanctity.
3. For each of you desiring to be reliable, trusted, and believed, thank you for your strict adherence to the teachings of Christ and His Church.
4. For each of you who are strict and thorough in the performance of your duties, thank you for your rigorous and exacting example.
5. For those of you adhering to the standards (teachings of the Church), thank you for demonstrating the stringent measures we can take to maintain purity of heart, mind, and soul.
"Go, and sin no more." This is a very precise admonition from our Lord. Would "avoiding the near occasion of sin" ever possibly cause others to label someone as rigid?
"Well done my good and faithful servant." It definitely sounds better than, "Well done my good and rigid servant." However, I still have to wonder how many times being "rigid" served a person well in remaining "faithful."