Friday, May 29, 2009

Fortitude

It is almost Pentecost. Let us ask the Holy Spirit for the virtue of fortitude, which we all need to persevere through the trials of life. Here is an excerpt from Father Lawrence Lovasik's wonderful book The Hidden Power of Kindness (Sophia Institute Press, 1999):
Fortitude is a basis for cheerfulness. Fortitude induces you to face the inevitable sorrows of life and, above all, death itself, in the service of God with courage and patience. You will look to the sufferings of Christ for inspiration. You will look to the happiness of heaven with a heart full of hope, and you will count even the greatest sufferings as a small price to pay for that reward. Therefore, try to overcome cowardice, self-pity, and lack of confidence in the goodness of God -- faults that prevent you from being cheerful. As a result of these faults, you may find yourself constantly grumbling against God and everybody around you because of the sufferings you have to endure.

Do not take yourself too seriously. You have to learn not to be dismayed at making mistakes. No human can avoid failures. The important thing is not to let your mistakes and failures gnaw away at you. Regret is an appalling waste of energy. You cannot build on it. (pp41-42)

4 comments:

carmelitemom said...

Okay...I could use a good dose of fortitude. I love this because every year each member of my community is given a virtue to focus on for the year...and mine is...fortitude! Providential!

Anne said...

I live with constant regret, letting my failures gnaw at me. I didn't know that fortitude would be the answer to taking myself so seriously! Do you know any good prayers to increase fortitude?

elena maria vidal said...

Me, too, Theresa.

Anne dear, Our Lady said at Fatima: "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God." Give all your agonies to the Heart of Mary and she will unite them to Jesus. We are all human, we all make terrible mistakes. It is why God came down to us. Remember that in confession all your sins are wiped away in spite of what you might feel about the past. Let us pray for each other.

Margaret said...

Wow - I needed this kick in the pants, or eh, skirt! :)

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