Any man who ever wrote about virtue wrote not about what he was but about what he wished.
—-Rick Davis, Final Thoughts
Bonhoeffer "knew…once life loses its value, all morality collapses…"
Gordon Brown, Courage, p.56
There is a way that seems right to men in general but the end of that way (the way of Man) is his destruction. The way to destruction is a broad thoroughfare with no red lights or speed bumps. The wind is ever behind you and the path always downhill.
It is hard to be alive but it is much harder to be both alive and good, all at the same time. Few do it well.
The Church of Christ, Christ's real Church, the Church you want to join will fill up with courageous sinners, if it ever fills up at all. The Church of Christ's Courageous Sinners spends a little time in the Temple and a lot of time in the World. The Enemy likes the Church to stay in the Temple. Jesus taught there, after He tidied up a bit, but He never really got the hang of the Temple. He got the hang of the Cross, though, and it was nowhere near the Temple.
Courage. He took His courage to the Temple. He took His courage to the Cross. He took His courage to the Tomb, thence to Hell and back. I wonder, what did earth seem to Him, after Hell?
Dispense with this bromide; that courage is what a man does when he is most afraid. "Most afraid" is a quantitative term and so relative to all his other states of fear. How does he know when he is "most afraid?"
Courage is what a man does when he knows he is rightly fearful. He is most rightly fearful, this man, when he must carry his sin into the presence of a completely righteous God. The first man who knows his sin has the good sense to hide from God and sets a horrid example for all the Later Hiders, to wit, God knows we are naked and have nothing to hide our sinfulness.
G.K. Chesterton said the only Christian doctrine that was empirically provable was the doctrine of Original Sin.
So, the Church of Christ must fill itself with sinners and sinners, to come, must come forward with all their courage. Grace covers our nudity. Courage gives us another place to put our hands.
So, courage is the first of the virtues. It makes all the others possible.