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Fortitude - an essential virtue in family life

When we think of the good of our families we know training each member in the virtues - both human and spiritual - is an essential part. We want to form children with strong characters, and we want to be better ourselves as well. The virtue of fortitude is that secret sauce in the family and in life that helps us do that.


What is fortitude?

The word fortitude is synonymous with courage. According to author David Issac, "the virtue, in a word, of one who, well aware of the value of his life (for every life is unique), is willing to give it up cheerfully if necessary to attain a higher good’."


Do I practice fortitude?

While it might seem like there are few truly courageous acts we are called to live out today, the truth is fortitude is experienced in many small, seemingly insignificant acts throughout our week. Here's a quick self-assessment to see how you're doing:


  1. I try to discover what the right thing to do in each situation is.

  2. I work to overcome laziness, routine and blind imitation of others, by thinking for myself about what is really frightening.

  3. I manage to focus on what is good for others, even if it takes an effort or I have to suffer for having done so.

  4. I make an effort to carry out everyday chores carefully and lovingly.

  5. I resist temptations, which society pushes at me - overcoming whims and societal/peer pressure.

  6. I can put up with physical discomfort without complaining.

  7. I make decisions, with initiative, to do worthwhile things for the children, for my spouse, and for others.

  8. I make an effort not to get used to what is evil even when it seems so prevalent today.

  9. I try not to complain about the bad things I see. On the contrary, I try to do something positive to resist negative influences.

  10. I overcome fear, indifference or my need for security, in order to carry out really worthwhile activities.

  11. Am I consistent in my plans and schedule?

  12. Am I just looking for new methods or recipes that solve the immediate situations without digging deeper?