In-Sight: Fortitude

This past Thursday, many in the Christian church remembered the life of St. Claire, friend and contemporary of St Francis of Assisi.

Many qualities characterized her life, but I was struck by her fortitude.  She remained faithful despite pressures from family and friends not to give herself to God in the ways she felt called to do.

In our day, when the values of Christianity are increasingly marginalized and resisted, I believe we need to pray for fortitude.  If you are a layperson, you may need fortitude as you seek to be a good witness for Christ in a work environment where doing so is caricatured or opposed.

If you are a clergyperson, you may need fortitude in relation to the local church where you serve—a place where even some who are your members do not seem to be very interested in the life of discipleship.

Fortitude is grace to “keep on keeping on.”  It can occur in small things as well as big ones; pleasant things as well as challenging ones.  Fortitude is the recognition that commitments have to be maintained by what Oswald Chambers called “drudgery.”

Until we are willing to persevere against the odds and in relation to the daily routines of our environments, we are not ready for everything meant by the term “spiritual formation.”  Fortitude is the answer to prayer worked out in life as it is, not as we wish it were.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to In-Sight: Fortitude

  1. Good post on fortitude! “keep on keeping on”. I like that. Perseverance. The last line is a powerful re-focus as we often tend to look more to how we wish things were. “Fortitude is the answer to prayer worked out in life as it is, not as we wish it were.”

    I look forward to being edified more through the readings here.

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