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Extraordinary times are not the only times for fortitude, Pope says

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In his Wednesday Audience in St. Peter's Square today, Pope Francis focused on the Holy Spirit's gift of fortitude, and he reminded pilgrims that fortitude in the Spirit is not simply for the extraordinary times that we may need it. “We shouldn't think this gift is only for extraordinary circumstances,” the Holy Father said. “For most of us, the gift of fortitude is exercised in our patient pursuit of holiness in the circumstances of our daily lives.”

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“In our lives we frequently experience fragility, our limitations and shortcomings; however with the gift of fortitude, the Holy Spirit helps us to overcome weakness, so that we are able to respond to the love of the Lord,” Francis taught. The Pope used the example of Jesus' parable of the seed and the sower to illustrate his point. The, he said, taught us that “the seed of God’s word sown in our hearts can encounter not only interior resistance, but also be choked by life’s sufferings and trials.” Through the Holy Spirit's gift of fortitude “the Holy Spirit enables us to remain faithful amid every difficulty and – as the experience of so many Christians around the world shows – even amid persecution and martyrdom, this is only possible by the action of the Holy Spirit that infuses fortitude and trust.”

“In our everyday lives the Holy Spirit also makes us feel the closeness of the Lord, sustains us and fortifies in the fatigues and trials of life, so that we won't be led into the temptation of discouragement,” the Pope explained, “but for all of this to be a reality, it is necessary that humility of heart be united to the gift of fortitude.”

“We ask the Virgin Mary that by her intercession, the Holy Spirit grants us the gift of fortitude so that we may always follow Jesus with joy and perseverance,” Pope Francis prayed.

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