The Joyful Hermit made a batch of Fortitude Fudge the other day. Fortitude is also called strength of soul, strength of character, spiritual vigor. It is a supernatural moral virtue that strengthens the soul to great moral good without letting the soul be deterred by fear, even the fear of death.
The action in fortitude is to undertake and to endure difficult things. This includes quick determination to do one’s duty no matter the cost and the courage to put forth all effort the undertaking may require. Finally, fortitude includes learning to suffer for God’s sake the many difficult trials that come our way–the illnesses, persecutions, and wrongs in which we find ourselves the victims.
I packaged Fortitude Fudge in 10 oz. chunks. It is fun gifting people who least expect it, but who can use a touch of love and, of course, fortitude. We all need it.
This morning I put a package of Fortitude Fudge in my car, Stella Maris, as we set off for 8 a.m. Mass. The roads were icy, but I proceeded slowly, Fortitude Fudge beside me. Cresting a hill, down below was a police car, lights flashing. Two cars were off the road, and the policeman was in his car, stopped in the lane I was in. I quickly realized I needed to go around him, for to brake would slide us out of control. Then I saw a van heading toward us in the other lane–and no time to pass the police car in the road, to avoid a head-on crash with the van.
Quickly I determined to aim for the ditch and the woods, pray to not hit the cars already off the road, and hope to land between two telephone poles (not wrap them), and also not smack into a tree. I had no idea the outcome except to pray not to crash into the police car, van or two cars off the road, each with people in them.
I braked carefully, clenched the wheel, and siddled past one ditched car. Stella Maris side-winded and lurched forward. We came to a stop in the ditch, at the edge of the woods, between the two poles, between the two cars, and perpendicular to the police car. The happy-go-lucky van drove on by.
The policeman was at my window. “Are you all right?” Yes, but quite shaken for it was all a narrow miss of many awful possibilities: Flashback to the car accident that drastically re-arranged my life 26 years ago to that of intractable pain. But now: Thank God and my guardian angel! After collecting a wit or two, I realized the Fortitude Fudge was intended for the young police officer–so grateful I’d not rear-ended him.
The policeman appreciated the gift of Fortitude Fudge. I’m sure police officers need lots of fortitude. We all do. Fortitude is a moral virtue that can serve us well once we learn to practice it and acquire this virtue for life. There are degrees of fortitude, plus other virtues that are allied with fortitude, but The Joyful Hermit will write more on these virtues in another section, sometime, called Learning the Virtues with The Joyful Hermit.
May I emphasize a reality? The Joyful Hermit is thankful to have fortitude in my soul and Fortitude Fudge as a spontaneous gift. The kindly policeman arranged for a tow truck to pull three cars from our perilous plights.
Tomorrow Stella Maris [faithful car] will return to St. Greg the Great [faithful mechanic]. The car does not sound or feel quite right underneath as we crept back to the hermitage. Still shaken, but thankful, I celebrated the joyous blessings by nibbling a piece of Fortitude Fudge with a soothing “cuppa”: Earl Grey tea embellished with sliced, fresh ginger and three green cardamon seeds.