How has fear impacted your life? Does it rule you, or do you rule it? Have you ever had to face a terminal illness? Have you ever been too afraid to stand up for what you believe in? Have you ever wondered how you would carry on without your spouse in the event of death? Regardless of the circumstances, fear is the opposite of fortitude. When we allow fear to stand in the way, we limit our own capabilities to make a positive difference in our family, community and society. Below is a powerful video of four women: Desirae facing cancer, Ann Marie facing business practices that go against her beliefs, Maria facing the death of her spouse, and Queen Esther, whose resolve to save her people placed her in grave danger (Esther 4:1-16). (I suggest reading this biblical passage before watching the video). Each woman shows you her fortitude (courage) in facing her fears.
Two comments from the video stand out for me. The first comment is from Ann Marie when she states, “You don’t realize how strong you are until being strong is all that you have left,” followed by Desirae’s comment, “Brave is acting in faith.” Their statements depict how each of these four women placed their lives in God’s hands, and from there drew the courage to address their fears. It’s the last question at the end of the video that really made me think hard about facing my own fears – How have you shown courage? Writing these blog posts takes courage, because not everyone will always accept what I write, but with fortitude, graced by God, I keep writing to bring the virtues to you. Now it’s your turn – How have you shown courage? Enter the conversation.
How might we practice fortitude? We’ll address that question in a three part series beginning in our next reflection on the virtue of fortitude. Don’t miss it!