When I think of people who have fortitude, my attention immediately goes to men who show unexpected courage, moxie, staying power, and guts. One of my favorite stories that speaks of a humble man who had enormous fortitude was the reformer Martin Luther. In April 1521, Luther walked into the presence of Charles V, and other powerful persons at the Diet of Worms, to answer charges of heresy and to hear a possible death sentence. At that moment, an old knight was heard to say, “Little monk, I like the step you take but neither I nor any of our battle comrades would take it.”
Consider that little Augustinian monk who shocked Christendom by his defiance of papal authority and who, at last, stood trial for his life. Even seasoned warriors like this old knight recognized the immense spiritual fortitude that enabled Luther to face his ordeal. During the high moment in the trial, Martin Luther explained, “I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”
Mentors and mentees alike may face times of persecution for their faith, and the Lord calls us to have the fortitude to stand strong for Him. When we are called to model fortitude because someone is persecuting us for our faith, will we be willing to be strong?
Taken from The Spiritual Mentor,by Jim Grassi