The Power of Fortitude
When the Communists were trying to take over Spain during the Spanish Civil War, an event caught the attention of many people. The Alcázar, an ancient fortress and training school for Spanish army officers, was under the command of Colonel José Moscardó. When Moscardó was ordered to surrender the Alcázar to the Communists, he refused. He soon received a telephone call saying his son was being held captive—the colonel had ten minutes to surrender power of Alcázar or his son would die. Colonel Moscardó and his son spoke briefly by telephone. Ten minutes later, Colonel Moscardó was told his son had been shot.
Fortitude is a cardinal virtue that enables us to overcome all difficulties in fulfilling the duties imposed on us. The colonel had to make a difficult decision. If he surrendered, he might have saved his son, but he would have betrayed his country, his Church, and his honor as a soldier. Fortitude gave him the strength to make the decision to sacrifice his son for Spain and for the Church. Blessed Virgin Mary clearly demonstrated the virtue of fortitude throughout her life. How does fortitude operate in us? Do we pull away when faced with inconvenience, discomfort, and sacrifice? The example of our Blessed Mother should inspire us with a holy ambition to be valiant.