Growing in Virtue: 2 Steps Towards Courage

Courage, or bravery, is a virtue that prepares us to confront difficulties, dangers, and obstacles that we find in life. It helps us overcome the fear we experience. But the distinguishing characteristic to make the act virtuous and not just an expression of “a lot of guts” is that the act is done in defense of, or looking for, a greater good.

You have to learn how to be brave with yourself before you can perform a great act of courage with others. The first two steps to growing in the virtue of courage start within you.

1) Make a good examination of conscience.
You have to be pretty brave to look at your day and recognize your faults and failures, calling your sins by their ugly name and not trying to make excuses. Like that you can overcome the fear of facing the truth about your faults and make resolutions to work on different areas in your life where you know you need it. Making a good examination of conscience can take about 10 minutes at the end of each day. Although you have to face the truth about your faults, it is a key step to holiness.

2) Confess your sins to a priest.
Now that you have bravely faced the fear of recognizing your sins to yourself, you can overcome the fear of admitting it to another. However, this isn’t just any other person, it is a priest who acts in "persona Christi," and is an instrument of God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Many times the fears we face in these situations are a result of our pride, but it can be easily resolved by living these two steps regularly. And as a result, not only will you grow in courage, but also in humility and constancy.