Holy Men Utilize the Gifts of the Holy Spirit — #6: Fortitude

I enjoy the vigor of Fr Tanquerey’s description of the Gift of Fortitude:

The Gift of Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and an energy which enable it to do great things joyfully and fearlessly despite all obstacles …. To act and to endure, even amid difficulties of the most arduous nature, and at the price of heroic effort are the two acts to which the Gift of Fortitude leads us …. In many an instance we must do the heroic in order to preserve the state of grace, and it is precisely this Gift of Fortitude that enables us to perform in a spirit of generosity these acts.

Fr Cameron seems to add a defensive perspective:

Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches that Fortitude (also called Courage), is that kind of firmness of mind and spirit that we need both for doing good and for enduring evil. We require this steadfastness especially when embracing good and eschewing evil become more difficult. The Spirit’s Gift of Fortitude preserves us from yielding to untoward pressure.

The Fortitude that is a Gift of the Holy Spirit operates as a certain, unshakable confidence that will see us through the terrors and trials of earthly life to the eternal joys of heaven. Endowed with Fortitude, we are prevented from giving in to any fear that menaces us on the way to God. Fortitude will not grant these fears a hearing. As a kind of holy censor, Fortitude removes all credibility and influence from the fear and discouragement that would turn us back from the way of Christ.

Here are some occasions on which we should engage (or ask for more of) the Gift of Fortitude:

  • When we are faced with temptation
  • To help us be kind to those who we don’t really like very much
  • In order to better persevere through a trial or suffering, whether brief or protracted
  • For the persistence and endurance required when we have challenging tasks to perform
  • When we have no desire to pray, but know we should
  • When we are about to face martyrdom
  • To help us keep silence, when our impulse would compel us to make our opinion known

If you can think of other times when we should engage the Gift of Fortitude, please share them with us in the Comment Box.

Explore posts in the same categories: Formation, Gifts of HS summaries, Virtuous living

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