catholic blog

  • Virtues – Habits of Excellence


    Fortitudo, 1470, by Sandro Botticelli Imagine that you are on a battlefield. There are men fighting in close combat: sword to sword. As you take in your surroundings, you notice that one man is running into battle swinging his arms around and boldly attacking. He opens his body up in a very vulnerable way, taking no account of his own personal peril. He is stabbed and falls to the ground. You are shocked at the lack of conscious personal preservation.

    You also notice another man. He is of a different sort altogether. Hiding behind a massive rock, you see him trembling; he makes no effort to join the battle or to even navigate safely through to advance with his countrymen. He is paralyzed by his own fear and doesn’t notice an enemy sneaking up behind him. He is fatally wounded. His cowardice killed him.

    Another man captures your attention. He moves with caution, but every step is confident. He attacks the enemies closest to him, and takes shelter often, moving with his battalion; he is aware of what is going on around him, neither making himself unnecessarily vulnerable, nor abandoning his duty. His actions are wise and his survival more likely. more...

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