Thursday, January 31, 2019

Virtues And Gifts

Our diocesan retreat's over and the conferences were excellent. A classical exposition of the virtues, theological and cardinal, and their perfection under the impulse of the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit. 

So for example, the gift of understanding perfects the infused virtue of faith, giving us profound insight into divine truth. And on; thank you Fr. Ward for bringing Aquinas to Texas along with the tried and true application of the matter in hand to the lives of the Saints, living icons of the Spirit's munificence.

It was all good but I was struck by this. The gift of fortitude or courage perfects the moral virtue of the same name, seen by Aristotle as courage in battle for the good end/telos of the city, elevated or "taken into a larger room" in the context of the Faith. Now we face danger or death for the good of the heavenly city as opposed to Athens or, say, Abilene.

Yes indeed and we can see how the gift of fortitude, and it is a gift, impels the martyrs and all heroes of the Faith. Stick with it, don't give up on your journey to the beatific vision. Obvious enough, if a mystery, and we can see why this bravery extends to all the virtues. But consider.

First Crusade. Result.

Fortitude applies to our earthly struggle. It's not easy to stick with the program when Pink Moloch strides like Behemoth across the land. No doubt, but the gift also extends to the heavenly. 

We need courage to face the next life, our moving on to something entirely, radically, utterly new and with it a total detachment from earthly things, all that we've known. That takes bravery and it's given us by the Spirit.

Thank you, Fr. Ward for the insight and many more. If you want to learn more about this and you should, see here and here and go from there. 

Not Fortitude

So don't give up, readers, like some kind of pathetic beta and run in panic for the nearest safe space, onesie or crying towel.




LL said...

Thank you for the uplifting message.

No crying towels here. But I'm afraid that I still like to dip my toast into hot coco for breakfast. Does that make me a liberal cur (I don't wear onesies)?

Adrienne said...

Love Aquinas. It sounds like it was a wonderful retreat, LSP.

LSP said...

LL, I'm relieved to know you don't wear onesies but if you did, weirdly, I get the feeling it'd be backed up by a COLT PYTHON and the mighty .357 Mag.

I've got a good mind to send a stack of crying towels to my old friend and retreat conductor, Robin Ward. He's principal of a seminary in Oxford and says the students are "fragile." Maybe an axe and a plastic rat would come in handy too?

LSP said...

It was very good, Adrienne. You'd have liked it a lot -- truth, uplifting.

Adrienne said...

Did I ever tell you about my 4th grade student who taught me how to remember the gifts? Wisunconfornopiefear - Pronounced wis-un-con--for-no-pie-fear. His older sister taught it to him and he passed it on. It works...

LSP said...

Thanks for that, Adrienne. Nice.