Thought of the Day May 26, 2020 The Gift of Fortitude

By 10:07 AM

Today, we will reflect on Fortitude or Courage as a virtue, a gift of the Spirit, a charism and a fruit.

The human virtue of fortitude enables one to confront fear, uncertainty and intimidation with a human strength that is inherent in each person. When a person comes across a poisonous snake, the human instinct is to run away in order to preserve one’s life.

The gift of fortitude comes from the Spirit of God. In Baptism we became sons and daughters of God, sharing in his own divine life. Throughout our life, Satan seeks to tempt us away from relationship with God to alienation. The grace of fortitude is given us each time we are tempted, so that we do not have to depend solely on our own strength to avoid sin, but on the grace of God. This gift also enables us to stand firm as a disciple/witness of Jesus Christ as we live out our faith in daily life.

Fortitude reaches its perfection in the charism of martyrdom. It was this charism which enable the myriads of martyrs to face death rather than deny their faith in Jesus. They had the confidence in faith that, in spite of the pain they would endure, they would overcome the power of evil and enter into the everlasting presence of God. For, as St. John says, He who was in them was greater than he who was outside.

The fruit of the Spirit resulting from the gift of fortitude would be patience and long suffering. We know of people who have endured much suffering, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and have remained serene throughout it all. How is this possible except through the grace of God and the strength that comes from relationship with him!  Come, Holy Spirit, come! Stir up anew the gift of fortitude so that in all things and times we may be faithful to God.

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