Growing in fortitude


#1

Hi,

Merry Christmas one and all.

My New Year’s resolution is to grow in the cardinal virtue of fortitude. I understand that St Thomas teaches that it’s possible to grow in this virtue through natural activities as well as through prayer. I’ve recently started fencing (with weapons, not posts and wire!) which I enjoy and which seems to be the right type of activity.

Please can anyone suggest other activities that could help or other forums to post this request on?

Thanks.

Tybourne


#2

Tybourne,

Merry Christmas one and all.

Merry Christmas to you too!

My New Year’s resolution is to grow in the cardinal virtue of fortitude. I understand that St Thomas teaches that it’s possible to grow in this virtue through natural activities as well as through prayer. I’ve recently started fencing (with weapons, not posts and wire!) which I enjoy and which seems to be the right type of activity.

I believe St Thomas meant by natural activities, is fasting, self-denial, etc.

Fencing(I always wished I had taken up that sport), is a good form of physical discipline, but I’m not so sure how it will help you to grow in the virtue of fortitude, in the spiritual sense.

The virtue of fortitude ensures that we will stay on the path of moral righteousness, even in the face of difficulties and trials, even to the point of sacrificing our lives.

I use to do martial arts, but the discipline never help to strengthened me in the virtue of fortitude, from what I recall.

However, this is a good subject, and has me thinking about working on the virtue myself.

Jim


#3

Thanks Jim. I’ll look at fasting again. The problem is, when I do it, I tend to get run down easily. I’ll discuss it with my spiritual director.

I highly recommend fencing- and I do believe that sports can help us to develop natural virtues, such as fortitude, but not, of course, the supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit, fortitude, which completes the natural virtue and is a gift of pure grace, received in Baptism and Confirmation and unfolded through prayer.

BTW, are you a discalced Carmelite? I’ve been meaning to read Brother Lawrence’s *The Practice of the Presence of God.
*
St Thomas (Becket) of Canterbury, martyr and model of fortitude, pray for us, on this his feast day: youtube.com/watch?v=ym6Qgj55e3Y&feature=related


#4

Tybourne

Thanks Jim. I’ll look at fasting again. The problem is, when I do it I tend to get run down easily. I’ll discuss with my spiritual director.

This can happen especially people who are active. So, you can fast on other things besides food, i.e. TV, talk, or something.
You could also plan a day of fast, where you also cut down on your activity, so that your calorie requirements don’t exceed your physical need.

I highly recommend fencing- and I do believe that sports can help us to develop natural virtues, such as the fortitude, but not, of course, the supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit, fortitude, which completes the natural virtue.

I’m a little old to start that sort of sport. Sports help build discipline, which may be helpful in strengthening the virtue of fortitude. However, God’s grace is really the key ingredient.

BTW, are you a discalced Carmelite? I’ve been meaning to read Brother Lawrence’s *The Practice of the Presence of God.
*

I’m a Secular Order Discalced Carmelite, i.g. 3rd order.

Jim


#5

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