The Vatican

Fortitude makes us "resilient sailors", encourages Holy Father

At today's Audience, the Pope encouraged people to pray for the cardinal virtue of fortitude, to "be people who are not frightened or discouraged in the face of trials and who take seriously the challenges of the world, acting decisively against evil and indifference." He also prayed for the victims of the floods in Kazakhstan and for peace in Ukraine, Palestine and Israel, and Myanmar.  

Francisco Otamendi-April 10, 2024-Reading time: 3 minutes
Pope's Audience Wednesday, April 10

Pope Francis at the General Audience on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 @OSV.

In the General Audience This Wednesday, the Pontiff continued in St. Peter's Square the cycle of catechesis on "vices and virtues", focusing his reflection on the virtue of fortitude, based on the reading of Psalm 31:2.4.25, after dedicating last Wednesday to the virtue of fortitude. justice

In his catechesis in the different languages, the Pope encouraged "to train yourselves in the virtue of fortitude to fight your fears and find the courage to manifest your faith with enthusiasm", as he said to the French-speaking faithful; or to remember "the joy of the Risen Christ even in difficult moments", invoking "upon you and your families the merciful love of God, our Father" (English-speaking pilgrims).

Addressing the Spanish-speaking participants, he said that "this Easter season may increase in us the gifts of grace, so that we may better understand the excellence of baptism and that the Lord's eternal mercy, which we celebrated last Sunday, may make us grow more in the virtue of fortitude and in good works". 

Pray for those suffering in Kazakhstan and for peace

At one point during the Audience, the Pontiff wished to "transmit to the people of Kazakhstan My spiritual closeness at this time, when massive floods have affected many regions of the country and have caused the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes, I invite you all to pray for all those who are suffering the effects of this natural disaster". 

In Italian, he added at the end, as he does in all his speeches, that his thoughts "are addressed to the martyrized UkraineTo Palestine, to Israel, may the Lord give us peace, let us pray to the Lord for peace. There are so many people suffering in places of war! War is everywhere, let us not forget Myanmar".

"Able to overcome fear, even death."

"In today's catechesis we reflect on the virtue of fortitude. It is that virtue that assures us the firm and constant desire to seek the good. For the ancient thinkers it was not possible to imagine a human being without passions, without them we would be like inert stones. We all have passions, but we must educate them, channel them and purify them in the water of Baptism, with the fire of the Holy Spirit", the Holy Father began.

"Let us begin with the description given in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "Fortitude is the moral virtue which, in difficulties, assures firmness and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It reaffirms the decision to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude makes one capable of overcoming fear, even of death, and of facing trials and persecutions." (n. 1808). Here, then, is the most "combative" of the virtues," he stressed.

"Fortitude serves us to confront and overcome internal enemies such as anxiety, anguish, fear, guilt and many other forces that stir within us and so often paralyze us. It also helps us to combat the external enemies that present themselves in life in the form of difficulties of all kinds." 

He then insisted that "cultivating this virtue will make us people who are not afraid or discouraged in the face of trials and who take seriously the challenges of the world, acting decisively against evil and indifference".

In the face of a "comfortable West", the "fortress of Jesus".

"In our comfortable West, which has "watered down" everything a bit, which has turned the path of perfection into a simple organic development, which does not need to fight because everything seems the same to it, we sometimes feel a healthy nostalgia for the prophets. But uncomfortable and visionary people are very rare". 

"We need someone to lift us up from the "soft place" in which we have lain down and make us resolutely repeat our "no" to evil and to everything that leads to indifference. Yes to the path that makes us progress in life, for this it is necessary to fight. Let us rediscover, then, in the Gospel, the strength of Jesus, and let us learn it from the witness of the saints," the Pope urged.

The authorFrancisco Otamendi

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