Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Never Forget the Fortitude of First Responders

Fortitude of First RespondersIt takes a special person to walk into danger when everyone else is fleeing to safety. I have great admiration for the courage and bravery of the first responders from 9/11. Their virtue exhibited on that day, and the weeks afterward is a result of possessing Fortitude. You see, Fortitude gives us the capability to face fear, while courage and bravery allow us to act upon our fortitude. Therefore, the fortitude of first responders is something to behold. They are living witnesses of what it means to truly serve for the glory of God.

Fortitude of First Responders

Inside each of the first responders is a desire to serve others, even at the expense of one’s own life. How could Continue reading

Embracing Fortitude in the New Year

Embracing FortitudeWhat have you been afraid to tackle in this new year? Is it a tough conversation with a loved one, a conversation you would rather ignore? Or, maybe it’s summoning the courage to get that physical you have been putting off? Perhaps you haven’t been to Confession in a while. As this new year gets underway, now is the time to address those things you conveniently put out of your mind. By embracing Fortitude, you can succeed in addressing those uncomfortable situations.

What Can Embracing Fortitude Do?

Fortitude strengthens our resolve. It will also help us to achieve our New Year’s resolutions. How so? Well, Fortitude gives us the courage and strength to be brave in moments of fear; to Continue reading

The Beatitudes: Jesus’ Way Requires Virtue

BeatitudesIn today’s Gospel reading from Matt 5:1-12, we hear Jesus teach about the Beatitudes. I am quite partial to the Beatitudes, as they embody virtue. As you all know, virtue is my “thing.” When we look at each one of the Beatitudes, we see that they are actually God’s gift of grace. That is because, to master the Beatitudes, we must embrace virtue. To embrace virtue, we need God’s grace.

The Beatitudes – Jesus’ Way!

  • To be poor in spirit, one must embrace and exemplify humility
  • If you are one who mourns, you are compassionate
  • Meekness is obvious. Yet to be meek, one requires great strength (fortitude).
  • If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you embody justice Continue reading

Novena to the Holy Spirit – Seeking Virtue

Novena to the Holy SpiritThe annual Novena to the Holy Spirit begins this coming Friday, May 26th and continues through to the day before Pentecost, June 3rd. In this Novena, we ask the Holy Spirit to grace us with seven gifts. Each one of theses gifts happen to be virtues as well:

  1. Awe (also known as Reverence) – We ask for a sovereign respect for God, as well as a filial submission to the Father.
  2. Piety – We ask for love and respect for those consecrated to God; including priests and religious, the Blessed Mother, the Saints, the Church, our parents, and our country and its rulers.
  3. Fortitude – We ask for the strengthening of our souls against natural fear. Continue reading

“Presidential” Virtuous Values – A Celebration of Past Presidents

Virtuous Values Today is Presidents Day in the United States. On this day, we celebrate the contributions of past Presidents. What we remember most about these men stems from their character – their virtuous values.

Cherishing Virtuous Values

For example, we have the adage of George Washington, “I cannot tell a lie,” leading us to see George Washington as a man of truth and honor. We remember Abraham Lincoln for his fight for justice and peace; where “all men are created equal,” including those of color. Franklin D. Roosevelt said that “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself,” making Roosevelt a man of fortitude and courage. These men possessed virtuous values.

When you celebrate a person, Continue reading

New Year Brings Change, Like It or Not

New Year Brings Change, Like It of NotOut with the old, in with the new! As we welcome the promise of the New Year, let us not forget all that God provides. Everything God gives us is a gift, right down to every breath we take.

Many times when we experience struggle and illness, we want to push the pain away as soon as we can, and forget the incident. Out of sight – out of mind! We certainly do not consider struggle and illness as gifts coming from God! However, that is not necessarily true. Even times of difficulty can be a gift from God. It is at these times that He graces us with opportunity to grow closer to Him. No – He does not Continue reading

Anger Will Destroy You, If You Let It

anger This begins a seven part series on the seven deadly sins. Today, in part 1 of 7, we start with Anger.

Do you ever get so angry that your face turns red, your blood pressure rises, and you lose control? When this happens, do you ever stop to think about what really causes you to experience such rage?

Anger arises when an evil persists in the face of our resistance or when a good remains beyond our grasp, despite our efforts. 1

Anger is a natural emotion. Even Jesus lost his temper with the money-changers at the Temple. Yet, Jesus’ anger was righteous; used for the purpose of defending His Father’s house. For most of us though, Continue reading

Final Thoughts on Fortitude

Pope Francis 2

I think the Holy Father, Pope Francis, sums it up best with his catechesis on Fortitude, where it is not only one of the cardinal virtues, but it is also a gift of the Holy Spirit:

With the Holy Spirit’s gift of Fortitude, we can remain faithful. Through counsel and knowledge and understanding, we have the courage to do God’s will even in the face of fear. We are all made to be courageous. Fortitude is there for the asking – just ask for it!

As we close out our discussion on Fortitude, is there anything left unsaid? Enter the conversation in the comments section.

What is justice? We’ll answer that question as we begin to look at the virtue Continue reading