The middle school youth will develop a deeper understanding of the gift of fortitude and how it can help them deal with peer, cultural and media pressures.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:
Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. “The Lord is my strength and my song.” “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (1808).
The gift of fortitude that is given to us from the Holy Spirit, is basically a gift of courage. Receiving the gift of fortitude does not mean that we will never experience fear. However, it does mean that we will have the strength to remain firm in hope against all pressures, even death. Fortitude also gives us the strength to refuse to believe anything but the truth that comes from Jesus Christ. Fortitude allows us to live lives of authentic faith. The Catechism goes on to say:
[…] fortitude ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good […] (1837).
In the life of a middle schooler, the gift of fortitude will allow them to truly stand up for their beliefs, even in the face of adversity. They are faced with a series of pressures from their peers, from our culture, and from the media on a daily basis. As Catholics, with the fortitude of the Holy Spirit, we can stand up against these pressures, staying faithful to the truth of our Lord.