Fear, Courage, and Resilience: Remaining in Christ with the Virtue of Fortitude
Fr. Ezra Sullivan, OP
Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas
In his Summa Theologiae, II-II, qq. 123-140, St. Thomas Aquinas offers a thorough “treatise on Fortitude,” which explains how this virtue, and the corresponding Gift of the Holy Spirit, contributes an essential role to a life of holiness. Empirical research into stress and resilience corroborates Aquinas’s psychology of fortitude and its relation to anger which contribute to one’s ability to cope with difficulty, resist destruction under hardship, and construct something positive out of an otherwise negative situation. Finally, the Christological elements of courage and the Holy Spirit’s Gift of Fortitude are crucial for facing every difficulty, even the possibility of death.
Fr. Ezra Sullivan, OP is a Dominican friar from the Province of St. Joseph in the United States. The author of Habits and Holiness: Ethics, Theology, and Biopsychology (Catholic University of America Press, 2021), Heroic Habits (TAN 2021), and the forthcoming Alter Christus: Priestly Holiness in Time and Eternity (Sophia Press, 2022), as well as articles on bioethics, artificial intelligence, and Catholic history. At the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (Angelicum) he currently teaches moral theology, bioethics, and psychology.