Thought of the Day June 3, 2022 The Gift of Fortitude

By 10:50 AM

It is a question of an inner strength, rooted in love (cf. Eph 3:17), which St. Paul writes about to the faithful of Ephesus: may the Father "grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self" (Eph 3:16). Paul prays to the Father to give this higher power to those to whom he is writing. Christian tradition lists this power among the "gifts of the Holy Spirit," deriving them from the text of Isaiah which lists them as the characteristics of the Messiah (cf. Is 11:2 ff.). Among the gifts with which Christ's most holy soul is filled, the Holy Spirit also gives to Christ's followers the fortitude which he was champion of in his life and death. One can say that the Christian who is involved in the "spiritual combat" has a share in the strength of the cross!" (St. John Paul I I)


Who among us does not need the gift of fortitude in living the full life as a disciple/witness of the Lord Jesus Christ? True there is a natural fortitude which is part of our life as a human being. This fortitude enables to face the natural fears of existence. But the gift of the Spirit enables us to confront the spiritual evils along our journey to the Lord and to remain faithful to our life in Christ. The greatest evils come from the Evil One in forms of temptations. Humanly, we are weak against this onslaught. But John reminds us that "He who is in us is greater than he who is outside of us."  We have received the "Spirit who enables us to cry out Abba, Father"  and to proclaim Jesus as Lord in times of temptation. This strength and conviction comes from the Holy Spirit who is with us and in us as our helper and provider.  This gift of fortitude is not a one time event, but is available to us in a fresh new way each time we ask for it or any other gifts of the Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit, come. Give me a fresh outpouring of all your gifts that I need each day to  remain a faithful son of the Father, servant of the Lord and anointed by you.

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