Suffering and overcoming
David Copperfield is perhaps the novel with the most autobiographical elements by Charles Dickens. It contains several gripping stories of suffering and overcoming. As usual in the author, it presents a motley amalgam of characters, brilliantly drawn. Betsey Trotwood, the aunt of the mother of the protagonist of the story, is an eccentric spinster. She went to visit the newborn David, but left in a huff when she realized that it was not a girl. However, years later, when he, being a completely deprived and dejected boy, comes to her exhausted for help, she will welcome him with magnanimity.
The quirky and endearing aunt offers sage advice to her nephew. She reminds him of basic ethical boundaries: "Never be wicked, never be false, never be cruel." And it encourages courage in the struggles of life: "We must face adversity with fortitude; and not allow it to frighten us. We must learn to fulfill our role. We must overcome adversity..
Strength and patience
Patience, as part of the virtue of fortitude, consists in the consistency of spirit not to succumb to discouragement in the face of adversity. It allows us to undertake great undertakings and tasks. It is an essential virtue in life, because we all face difficulties and tribulations. It supposes a firm adherence to the good, rejecting false shortcuts, with stability in the face of adversity; without recriminations, murmurings or complaints; without seeking consolations or inopportune compensations; without allowing oneself to be depressed by sadness, which generates resentment and bitterness; with joy and perseverance.
"To be patient means not to let one's serenity or the clairvoyance of the soul be snatched away by the wounds one receives while doing good." (Josef Pieper). Therefore, patience enables us to "to resist, to witness sadness without being won over by it, to remain faithful to the memory of the being who presented himself in the past as the only possible path to a truly human existence, and to endure the onslaught of pain for the sake of that promise that man then knew to be his". (Javier Aranguren).
Moreover, the gifts of the Holy Spirit enhance human capacities to the point of conferring the way of feeling and acting of Christ himself, by acquiring his own virtues.
Courage and perseverance
Marriage and the family constitute the first school of humanity. The great ideal of forming a home requires effort and lasting commitment, constant sacrifice and motivation, tenacity and endurance in the various vicissitudes. Unfortunately, there are those who are afraid to venture into a great vocation and painfully demean their existence. With Jesus, however, one can reach lofty goals, and it is worth the effort. John Paul II passionately explained to young people that Christ enables them to live a great life:
"In reality, it is Jesus whom you seek when you dream of happiness; it is He who awaits you when you are not satisfied with anything you find; it is He who is the beauty that attracts you so much; it is He who provokes you with that thirst for radicalism that does not allow you to let yourself be carried away by conformism; it is He who pushes you to leave behind the masks that falsify life; it is He who reads in your heart the most authentic decisions that others would like to stifle. It is Jesus who awakens in you the desire to make your life something great, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to let yourselves be trapped by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves with humility and perseverance to improve yourselves and society, making it more human and fraternal.".
The Christian's faith in the almighty God of Love and trust in his nearness, in his provident care, in his promise of life, supernaturally strengthen the virtue of patience. This is especially true in the beautiful vocation of spouses.. When we truly count on grace, the project of the covenant of faithful and generous conjugal love, fruitful and expansive, renewed in time, becomes joyfully possible. For the nuptial blessing of the Lord has permanent value.
Hope does not disappoint
The divine promise of full love inscribed in the spousal language of the body and in the desires of the heart - that is, in the dynamics of the eros- generates a sure hope and, for this reason, constitutes the thread that runs through the history of every marriage. In this sense, the Holy Father Francis vehemently encourages:
"Cultivate ideals. Live for something that surpasses man. Faithfulness achieves everything. If you make a mistake, get up: nothing is more human than making mistakes. And those mistakes need not become a prison for you. Do not let yourself be imprisoned by your mistakes. The Son of God did not come for the healthy, but for the sick; therefore he also came for you. And if you make a mistake again in the future, don't be afraid, get up, you know why? Because God is your friend. If you are hurt by bitterness, believe firmly in all the people who still work for good: in their humility is the seed of a new world. Relate with people who have kept their heart as that of a child. Learn from wonder, cultivate wonder. Live, love, dreamBelieve. And, with God's grace, never despair".