“they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand’. Jn 10
Fortitude is both a gift of the Holy Spirit and a virtue, a cardinal virtue in fact. As a cardinal virtue man develops this virtue by habit to become part of our moral conscious.
Fortitude is ranked as the fourth gift of the Holy Spirit because it gives us the strength to follow through on the actions suggested by the gift of counsel. While fortitude is sometimes called courage, it goes beyond what we normally think of as courage. Fortitude is supernatural courage, obtained only through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Fortitude comes after the gift of counsel because it gives us the guts to do what the gift of counsel tells our conscience must be done to obey Jesus.
Gifts work together. We have all heard, ‘Knowledge is power.’ Therefore, through knowledge we derive strength, the strength to live the other virtues heroically, to suffer with patience and joy.
The enemies we face are often inside of us, making them all the trickier to withstand. Consider the inner demons that drain our souls and leave us weak-kneed and vulnerable. We don’t fight them with fists but with intense soul work that includes prayer, discipline, and honest self-reflection.
Your challenge is to examine your own life and see how the Gift of Fortitude is active. Have you had times when you had to rely on God’s strength to get through some suffering or to help you stick with a decision to do good when it got really difficult?
Lord Jesus, I may never face the persecution that many of your followers but I pray for their strength and resolve. When I am face to face with my adversaries be they external or internal, fortify me with courage and devotion in your name. Amen.