St. Peter’s Square
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, we now turn to the gift of fortitude. We have seen that the first three gifts of the Spirit – wisdom, understanding and counsel – enable us to contemplate God’s loving plan and to know his will. Through the gift of fortitude, we receive the strength to do God’s will in spite of our own natural weakness and limitations. In the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus teaches us that the seed of God’s word sown in our hearts can encounter not only interior resistance, but also be choked by life’s sufferings and trials. Through the gift of fortitude, the Holy Spirit enables us to remain faithful amid every difficulty and – as the experience of so many Christians around the world shows – even amid persecution and martyrdom. For most of us, the gift of fortitude is exercised in our patient pursuit of holiness in the circumstances of our daily lives. Whenever we feel weary or discouraged along the journey of faith, let us ask the Holy Spirit to grant us the gift of fortitude, to refresh us and to guide our steps with renewed enthusiasm.