“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Nobody can hurt me without my permission”
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength”
Saint Francis de Sales
“Be faithful is small things because it is in them that por strength lies”
Strength is ability of a thing to hold, support or resist something.
Moral capacity of a person to resist or endure suffering or hardship.
“Show strength in the face of death.”
Cardinal virtue that confers courage to withstand adversity and resist dangers: “Saint Paul emphasizes the significance of faith as a generator of loyalty and trust, courage, sacrifice and strength.”
The word strength derives from the Latin word fortis, “strong”. It covers the two concepts of “physical force” and “mood energy” and should not be confused with the concept and the word “violence”. By the first meaning, man repels and overcomes physical attacks while by the second he endures, rejects and overcomes the great difficulties that oppose or prevent him from “the moral realization of the good according to the order of reason”. As indicated in the title of the article, the aim is to show strength according to the second meaning mentioned above (energy of mind), not in the sense of the first meaning (physical strength).
According to the foregoing, strength is a virtue, one of the four cardinal virtues. The “subject” is the irascible appetite insofar as it is subordinated to reason. Its “purpose” is to remove the impediments of fear or recklessness that the passions carry with them to ensure that the will does not cease to be guided by the dictates of right reason in the face of serious physical evils and dangers.
In Christian theology, strength is one of the four cardinal virtues along with prudence, justice and temperance. It consists in overcoming fear and fleeing recklessness. For Christians, strength ensures firmness in difficulties and perseverance in the search for good, even reaching the capacity to accept the eventual sacrifice of one’s life for a just cause. The strength gives firmness to the decisions made to resist the temptations and overcome the obstacles that arise in the moral life of each person.
This virtue enables one to overcome fear, even death itself, as well as to face trials and persecutions.
The strength is described as the virtue that gives value to the soul to face risks with courage and vigor, moderating the impetus of audacity. Its purpose is to order the appetite of reason, so that the will follow the Christian reason before the dangers or difficulties.
But this force does not mean something similar to violence against others, but force to combat the miseries and weaknesses of oneself; it is courage not to disguise one’s own infidelities; it is also the audacity that must be had to reaffirm and confess the faith especially when the environment is contrary.
Formation of will and strength
How to form the will? Well, there is a magic phrase, which was: “You win your daughter; master yourself, do not let yourself go. ” Even when I saw the grandchildren, I always repeated “Child, teach your children to come to an end”.
Form the will means, exercise it in wanting the good, in wanting it with alacrity and efficiency, with constancy, and this is only achieved by polarizing it by the love of an ideal, by seeking with conviction the coherence of life between what one is and what one you think; to seek with care to make prudent decisions and definitive and irrevocable options before everything that should be done in life, when looking for effective and orderly work.
We must form a strong will so that it can govern over the other faculties, and above all make it docile to obey God.
It is important that students understand that you are not more free when you do what is dictated by the whim, but when you have the ability to choose what makes us a better person, when you aspire to high ideals. It will not be easy to make them understand, since our culture and environment teach us just the opposite. Young people believe they are more free when they get more permits or when they do what they want more times. However, life itself teaches us that whoever has a will is more free and can lead their life wherever they want, not where the environment forces them to go.
Steps to achieve this training:
1. Polarizing the will for love: freely wanting. Be very clear about where you want to go.
2. To teach that a greater good will always demand the renunciation of other goods.
3. Teach to renounce the satisfaction produced by the urgent
4. Make a policy of small maturities
. do the things that do not make you want, with the greatest promptness
. do difficult tasks first
5.When you have finished a task or obligation always do “something else”
. look for an act of resignation (food, in dealing with others, in the things that I want at that moment) every day.
6. Reflect before acting
7. Combat human respect (the “what others will say if I …”), because it leads us to be slaves of what others think and to live looking only to fall well to others.
8. Work decisively, without leaving for tomorrow what can be done today.
9. Work begun, finished work: constancy
10. Everything has a place and every subject its moment.
The will needs to educate itself with daily exercises that give it strength and help it to form habits to do well. He needs to defeat his many enemies one by one: laziness, lust, ignorancia …
Small exercises that help in the formation of will and strength:
. I do not eat everything I like
. eat what I do not like without protest
. endure cold or heat without complaining
. choose what is not so comfortable (an armchair, a place, a posture …)
. Quickly start what I have to do, do not stop to think if I like it or not.
. silence any criticism, ironic or negative comment.
. do my tasks perfectly.
. put in place every thing that I use.
. obey immediately
. Be positive and do not complain
. practice any sport
. mark a study and rest schedule
. live the motto “work begun, finished work”
Signs of danger against the will and strength:
1. Let yourself be carried away by the whims
2. lack of sacrificial spirit
3. run away from what it costs us
4. look for the most comfortable
5. want everything at the moment
In the formation of the will and strength, it is not necessary to seek immediate success, but victory in the small battles that increasingly strengthen us in the struggle. The winners or losers are not made from one day to the next.
The will must be formed from childhood. Otherwise, a capricious, soft, inconstant person is allowed to grow, moving according to the wind that passes over her, unable to set clear and concrete goals or objectives.
How is the virtue of strength formed?
1. Educate to always look for the “difficult good”, between two good things to choose the one that says more love (generally it turns out to be the most difficult).
2. Look for close examples of generosity (readings, movies, testimonies, people).
3. Fill the heart with high and noble ideals. It helps a lot to read stories of testimonies of life that have lived the virtue of strength and have applied it to defend some noble ideal.
4. do small acts of generosity that make the big heart to devise noble and ambitious projects in order to do good.
5. Moments of pain are wonderful opportunities to grow in this virtue (“It is clear that the Christian does not suffer because he suffers, the Christian does not accept suffering for suffering, but he meets him and, when he is presented, he must to work hard to overcome it – if possible – and, in the event that it is not surmountable, he must accept it and overcome it with strength and vigor following the example of Christ “).
6. When a good act is done, look for the next one to be bigger, reach more people …