The Virtue of Courage
Need a refresher on what a Virtue is?
WHAT IS A VIRTUE?
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8)
A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.
There are LOTS of Virtues, and what Holy Owned and Operated calls the “Righteous Virtues” are Virtues that men and women need to dispose themselves habitually and firmly to doing (and so become the embodiment of) to be righteous men and women. They are Righteous because “Righteous” means “morally right or justifiable.”
You most likely recognize these Righteous Virtues, as they are a combination of:
- the Cardinal (or “Hinge”) Virtues first taught by Socrates (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Courage) 500 years before Jesus was born;
- the Heavenly Virtues (Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, Humility) diametrically opposed to the Seven Deadly Sins;
- and the Theological Virtues proclaimed by St. Paul (Faith, Hope, Love).
Philosophically, Temperance and Charity bridge the virtues together to form the Twelve Righteous Virtues: Temperance is both a Cardinal and Heavenly Virtue and Charity (sacrificial Love) is a Heavenly and Theological Virtue.
Catechesis At Home – The Virtue of Courage
WHAT IS COURAGE?
Courage is the willingness to act in the face of something that is frightening; strength in the face of pain or grief.
John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
Mark Twain said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
Courage is not to be confused with bravery! Bravery is the action that Courage inspires. Courage comes before bravery, and is a decision to do the right thing. We are Courageous when we stand up for what is right and do not tolerate what is wrong.
C.S. Lewis said, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.” Courage is the starting point of every other virtue, because it takes Courage to live virtuously and take virtuous action.
This is an extremely difficult Virtue to practice. And since practicing doing leads to being, it is, as I understand it, nearly impossible to be completely virtuous in Courage all the time, everywhere.
DISCUSSION: Who is the most Courageous person you know? Why? What do you think makes them Courageous? Do they want to be Courageous, or was that need thrust upon them?
However, the near-impossibility of a result is no reason to not do what is right. We need only look to Jesus who allowed himself to be crucified – and THAT took Courage! – to save the whole world. He knew not everybody would accept that gift, that it would be impossible to see everyone in heaven, no matter how much He wanted it. But He had the Courage to do what was right anyway.
ACTIVITY – Practicing Courage: It is very difficult to practice Courage without practicing another virtue (See C.S. Lewis’ quote above).
This week, talk about what or who could use a courageous moment, and do it. Maybe a kid at school needs a friend at lunch; maybe that co-worker needs to know they are being hurtful to others; perhaps the safety at the factory has not been addressed by management and it is time to go over their heads; maybe the mean-looking neighbor deserves a “Hello” when we walk by. Courage does not have to be life-endangering and, in fact, rarely is. Challenge everyone to do something Courageous every day, and talk about what we did each night. And particularly talk about why we did not do something Courageous, though we should have. Parents…be honest! That takes Courage!
Husbands and Dads have an extra assignment: Watch this video and listen to the song:
Holy Owned and Operated does not own this video. We did not create it and do not claim any creative rights. This video cannot be embedded from YouTube where the copyright owner has published it. We have placed it here so that our visitors can have a reliable link as time goes on and we ask that you visit the original YouTube posting and the creators of the site; particularly the creators because they are topnotch Christian music producers who care about spreading the Word.
BONUS ACTIVITY: Have Family Movie Night and watch the Movie “Courageous”. You can watch it free at that link!