Josemaría Escrivá Obras
  Friends of God > Human Virtues > Number 77

Let us now consider some of these human virtues. While I am talking I would like you, on your own, to keep up a conversation with Our Lord. Ask him to help us all, to encourage us to penetrate more deeply today into the mystery of his Incarnation, so that we too, in our own flesh, may learn how to give living witness to our fellow men of him who has come to save us.

No man, whether he be a Christian or not, has an easy life. To be sure, at certain times it seems as though everything goes as we had planned. But this generally lasts for only a short time. Life is a matter of facing up to difficulties and of experiencing in our hearts both joy and sorrow. It is in this forge that man can acquire fortitude, patience, magnanimity and composure.

The person with fortitude is one who perseveres in doing what his conscience tells him he ought to do. He does not measure the value of a task exclusively by the benefit he receives from it, but rather by the service he renders to others. The strong man will at times suffer, but he stands firm; he may be driven to tears, but he will brush them aside. When difficulties come thick and fast, he does not bend before them. Remember the example given us in the book of the Machabees: an old man, Eleazar, prefers to die rather than break God's law. 'By manfully giving up my life now, I will show myself worthy of my old age and leave to the young a noble example of how to die a good death willingly and nobly for the revered and holy laws.'

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