Choose a topic from Part 2A:

45. Daring or Courage

1. The contrary of fear is daring or courage. Fear shrinks from an evil; daring faces up to the evil and strives to overcome it.

2. Courage or daring springs from hope that the impending evil can be overcome. Yet fear, which is the opposite of courage, does not spring from the opposite of hope, that is, fear does not come from despair. On the contrary, despair comes from overwhelming fear, from fear that the impending evil cannot be escaped, that the difficulty confronting one cannot be overcome.

3. The hope that begets courage is a positive hope; it arises from the conviction, and the imagination, that means of safety are at hand, and that, in consequence, the fear something is not so fearsome after all. Courage involves nothing negative, no lack, no deficiency. Hence it is wrong to suppose, as some have done, that courage is caused by some defect or lack in the courageous being.

4. True courage or daring is not a mere impulsive surge of valor, not a mere burst of boldness that is quickly spent when the impending evil is actually encountered. True courage, as a passion of the soul, faces up to danger and carries through its effort perseveringly. Courage stands up; it endures.

"Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it."
St Philip Neri

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"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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