Fortitude is defined as "that strength or firmness of mind or soul which enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage, or to bear pain or adversity without murmuring, depression or despondency. Fortitude is the basis or source of genuine courage or intrepidity in danger, of patience in suffering, of forbearance under injuries, and of magnanimity in all conditions of life. We sometimes confound the effect with the cause, and use fortitude as synonymous with courage or patience; but courage is an active virtue or vice, and patience is the effect of fortitude. Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues." – Noah Webster

A modern definition of fortitude is "the strength of mind, moral, physical or structural strength that allows one to endure pain or adversity with unyielding courage." Close synonyms to fortitude include backbone, constancy, grit, guts, intestinal fortitude, and pluck. – OED

Fortitude is an abstract principle, a law of being and of doing, a virtue and a Via Christa Degree under the principles of Energy and the Christ mind. Fortitude is best known as a soul virtue, the strength of mind that enables you to be brave and courageous in the face of great adversity, and over time.

Edna Lister on Fortitude

Pray for fortitude and endurance to continue in the Way of the Soul's Ascent, which is sacrificing the "little" of earth to gain the "much" of heaven. – Edna Lister, October 1, 1938.

It takes great fortitude, backed by a burning desire for God, to raise ascension of the soul from being a long, drawn-out process and struggle into an act that holds fast to its expression from the higher creative center of I AM consciousness. You must completely give up lower self indulgences without having to think about it first. Use that one instant in every situation to move up in consciousness, with never a backward look or thought. – Edna Lister, Faith, the Challenger, 1953.

Always taking the blame for everything that comes to you, never blaming another for anything, requires the greatest possible fortitude. Above all, it takes this great fortitude to call down upon your life the Name of God on earth: Good. – Edna Lister, Faith, the Challenger, 1953.

You must have the intestinal fortitude to lift all manners of lines of Light, declare them good and to hold until they are anchored in heaven again. – Edna Lister, September 30, 1957.

"Intestinal fortitude" gives soul the power to exercise choice. – Edna Lister, The Bond of Spirit, October 6, 1957.

Soul confidence begets fortitude. – Edna Lister, Manifestation, May 24, 1959.

Fortitude is standing on principle, holding fast to truth and knowing that God works all things together for good. – Edna Lister, What Is Symbolism? October 6, 1959.

Fortitude is holding fast to your principles no matter what. – Edna Lister, What Is Symbolism? October 6, 1959.

You either gain in endurance and fortitude or end in weakness and self-pity. – Edna Lister, February 24, 1962.

Instability is the opposite pole of fortitude, and "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." – James 1:8. – Edna Lister, August 15, 1963.

You must be strong to provide others with stability and security. Pay no attention to evil or a lack of appearance of good. Practice the three Gs: grit, guts and grin. It takes intestinal fortitude and you must speak boldly. – Edna Lister, March 4, 1966.

Absolute fortitude says "Father, thank You that You are doing the work." – Edna Lister, The Blind Man at the Pool of Siloam, December 6, 1970.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of fortitude: Latin fortitudo, from fortis, "strong."

Fortitude is an abstract principle.

Fortitude is a law of being.

Fortitude is a law of doing.

Fortitude is a soul virtue.

Fortitude is a Via Christa Degree.


Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason.
– Francis Bacon

Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. – Winston Churchill,


Bacon, Francis. "Bacon," Dictionary of Quotations, No. 29. James Wood, compiler. London: Frederick Warne and Co., 1899;, 2012; [accessed February 24, 2017].

Churchill, Sir Winston. Churchill by Himself. Speech given at Harrow School, October 29, 1941. Richard M. Langworth, editor. 2008, 23.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Webster, Noah. "Fortitude." Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828. This work is in the public domain.

Related Topics

See Endurance