In this lesson we explore how mourning is a mark of morality.Preview This Lesson
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Martyrdom of St. Stephen
by Giorgio Vasari (c. 1560)
In the last lesson we briefly explored joy. One of the primary features of joy is the ability to face the ups and downs of life with peace. Joy does not mean that we will never be sad, or face difficulties in our lives, but that we can handle difficulties without falling into sin.
Sadness is a part of our lives, and is an appropriate response to certain situations. Mourning the loss of a loved one, or the effects of a natural disaster is not only appropriate, but also just. Even more just is mourning the indignities committed against God and the Catholic Faith. Those who mourn these things are blessed because they recognize man’s eternal value and God’s supremacy. In this lesson we will explore the moral marks of mourning—fortitude and long-suffering—as well as how this beatitude relates to the beatitude, “blessed are those who are persecuted.”
Fortitude: Fortitude is one of the cardinal virtues and the foundation of many others. Saint Thomas Aquinas explains fortitude in this way: “The term ‘fortitude’ can be taken in two ways. First, as simply denoting a certain firmness of mind, and in this sense it is a general virtue, or rather a condition of every virtue, since as the Philosopher states (Ethic. ii), it is requisite for every virtue to act firmly and immovably. Secondly…Tully says (Rhet. ii), that ‘fortitude is deliberate facing of dangers and bearing of toils.’”
Fortitude, as a mark of mourning, is commonly called patience. Patience helps us remember that God is in control, not us. We should not expect wrongs to be righted, or circumstances to change, according to a timetable we think is best. Prayer is the best way to develop our patience.
Long-suffering: Consider this “long term” patience. Long-suffering is the patience of people who face serious or chronic illness, or those who have difficulty with a spouse or family member.
It is very hard to stay positive in bad situations that seemingly never end, but our Catholic Faith is built on our hope in Christ. When we have hope, we trust that God is with us always. We trust that the promises of Christ will happen, even if we don’t see them right away. Not to have this hope is called despair. Despair is the belief that something will never happen. When we despair of Christ’s promise, we turn away from God Himself. This is a grievous thing, making despair a ... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
7th Grade: Morality: Lesson 9: The Beatitudes and the Marks of a Moral Life, Part 4 is part of the following course(s):