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

One unique aspect about the four cardinal virtues is that they prompt us to do good. Virtues are constant and unchanging, developed and refined through making good choices. When we practice the virtue of courage, we are given the freedom to face our fears, regardless of how we may feel on the inside. We aren’t cowards, but we aren’t reckless either. In a moment of true courage, we acknowledge the fear that we have and choose to pursue the right thing.

There are many instances in comic book movies and in literature where heroes are faced with insurmountable odds and choose to move forward and fight in spite of how scared they are. My favorite instance of this can be seen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Throughout the novel, Harry Potter is constantly plagued by the dementors, the guards of Azkaban that make him experience his worst nightmares just by being around him. To counter the dementors, Harry has to practice the Patronus spell, which relies on him thinking of the happiest thoughts and channeling his courage. It’s not until the dementors surround him and his godfather that Harry finally has the courage to cast the spell. His Patronus manifests as a white stag, the same animal that his father used to be able to turn into. 

We cannot cast spells the same way that Harry Potter can, but we are often thrown into situations where we have to face our worst fears. JK Rowling has stated that Harry’s journey to defeat the dementors represented her battle with depression. Through her determination and courage, Rowling was able to overcome her depression and create a career out of her writing. Courage can help us find our way out of our darkest moments, so long as we remember where our courage comes from.

To Jesus through Mary-Monique Ocampo