Growing in Faith

Fortitude helps us to persevere in virtue and toward the good, especially when the going gets tough. Fortitude is not fearlessness, but rather involves recognizing and embracing fear, moderating it and holding fast to what is good and right.

What is fortitude?

Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life.” –CCC 1808

Living with fortitude

Fortitude is a heroic virtue. It’s a higher form of courage, in that God is involved in assisting the soul supernaturally through the virtue of fortitude.

Fortitude is essential for advancing in our spiritual lives and for our personal growth. When we encounter obstacles in our lives, fortitude helps us push through, and often we find ourselves stronger as a result!

3 ideas to help you grow in fortitude

  1. Practice patience. Patience is a habit that helps us endure hardship so that we maintain our reasonable course of action. By practicing patience, we exhibit and strengthen our fortitude for resisting temptations and overcoming obstacles when things get difficult.
  2. Exercise constancy. Constancy helps us endure the toil that comes with accomplishing some good work we are engaged in. Working in ministry, for example, can pose its exhausting challenges, but constancy helps us endure, knowing that our work—whatever our good work is—is all for the glory of God.
  3. Avoid “pusillanimity”—which means smallness of soul. Many people are tempted with the danger of settling for a small existence, in which they do not attempt to strive for greatness. Think about some way in your life right now that you could strive for greatness. Make a plan to work toward that and make sure prayer is a part of that plan!

What do the experts say?

“Fortitude is an engaging virtue.” –Donald DeMarco

“It belongs to fortitude to remove the obstacles that withdraw the will from following reason on account of difficulties that give rise to fear and sorrow.” –Doug McManaman

“The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause.” –CCC 1808

“The Lord is my strength and my song.” –Psalm 118:14