Stir into Flame the Gift of God with... Fortitude
The thing about fire is that it is fickle and often unpredictable. It is dictated by the elements around it and requires both fuel and oxygen to stay lit. Yet, when controlled and given consistent quantities of both, fire is easily manipulated into a helpful tool rather than a destructive force.
In the last few weeks we have looked at the cardinal virtues in terms of basic fuel for the "flame" that is the Gift of God. Our faith is the oxygen and the final fueling element is the cardinal virtue of Fortitude, or Courage.
Fortitude comprises the commitment toward the Good despite any obstacles, even the sacrifice of our own lives. Unlike bravery, the strength to act so boldly does not come from a fearlessness; rather, it is achieved through a total trust in the LORD and His Goodness.
While the other virtues give us awareness of the Good and the ability to discern the right move in the moment, fortitude is the ability to take that step even amidst backlash, relying on our faith in God all the while.
It is our "call to action" that--like a flame supported by oxygen--utilizes our faith to be able to manage tasks we believe are beyond us while also helping us to recognize what we ought to have been doing all along.
This is the message of this Sunday's readings, that we already have it within us to defend our faith and the process of "stirring into flame the gift of God" is to shake off whatever complacency or trepidation we might have, trust God completely, and risk ourselves and our comfort for the sake of The Gospel.
For more on the Cardinal Virtue of Fortitude, CLICK HERE to watch a short (< 3 minute) video.
HERE is a playlist of the music that we will be using at the masses this weekend.