Can anyone achieve heroic virtue?
Jesus reminds in Scripture that “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). Of course, we must cooperate with God’s grace. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus provides us with a blueprint for holiness, without which heroic virtue cannot be attained.
Indeed, if heroic virtue is to be attained, we must strive to “seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33), realizing, as St. Paul proclaims, that we “can do all things in him who strengthens me” (2 Cor. 12:8-10). In the process, Jesus reminds us, we must exercise radically childlike faith, because the road to eternal life is narrow and hard (Matt. 7:13-14). So we must be committed, like a great athlete, to undergo redemptive suffering so that our virtue may be refined, realizing that God’s “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:8-10).
And, as we progress in virtue, we will increasingly attain the incomparable peace of Christ that the world cannot give (John 14:27).