The Cardinal Virtues // Fortitude

Lord Jesus, give me fortitude and the strength to conquer whatever comes my way. May your grace and mercy forever surround me all the days of my life Amen

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go Joshua 1:7

Be strong and very courageous. This is like a battle cry that makes my heart burn in my chest. But to be honest? Most times my heart is weary from standing up for the good. It takes so much energy to stand against the tide, day after day. Does it feel that way for you, too, sisters? This is the virtue of fortitude - having the courage to stand for and do the good, even when you’re afraid or tired.

Be strong and courageous - God Himself is speaking these words to Joshua as he prepares to finally lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. God knew there would be temptations for them amongst the peoples who dwelt there - temptations to worship their gods and follow their laws. The courage that God kept exhorting them to is not a courage against the physical battles they faced in retaking the land, but a courage against temptation and sin. As long as the Israelites were trusting in God and following His commands, He fought those physical battles for them. This is what it also takes to follow the law of Christ, the law of love. 

Being a married woman, one of the biggest battles I have right now is standing in fortitude in relation to church teaching on marriage, especially natural family planning. The teachings of the Church are not there to make our lives miserable, but for our own good and to preserve love. But it is so easy for us to look to our left and to our right and see what other couples are doing, ways they are seemingly making their lives easier and happier. It is a constant standing firm (even against my husband), choosing the good day after day, even when it causes suffering. I know so many wives and mamas out there who are struggling too. But take courage, the Lord is with us. All we have to choose, day after day, is to say like Joshua, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Do you feel like you’re facing a battle, either against temptations of your own or of others? Take courage. The Lord will help you fight your battles, we only need to give Him full permission and trust in Him. 

To Jesus through Mary- Emily Naylor