… to triumph over the calamities and terrors of mortal life is the part of a great man only.

Seneca, 5 B.C. – 65 A.D.

For my son … and other good young men.

+ + +

Where are the great men?  Are we a nation of great men?

Who might know himself who has not been tested, and tested relentlessly?  No one.

Those are great who sustain against challenges day after day and do so without dependency, without institutions to label them and give them rank and schedule.

The great men survive and prosper in adversity and shy away from ease.  Their wounds teach what nothing else can.

To these God favors most for to them He shows virtue and bestows His greatest hope.  Obscurity does not bother the great man, for he knows it strengthens him.  In him poverty sows spirit and erases fear.

To the great man disaster is virtue’s opportunity and maturity and wisdom’s fertile soil.  For him no yoke is too heavy.

God hardens the ones He favors, to them disciple multiplies.  To the favored man comes the toughest tasks and often early in life – this a sign of God’s favor.

A great man courts no time with poltroons, or luxury, or excesses less he be reduced and habituate what is false and self-deceiving.

The noble spirits are tried with adversity.  How else greatness of the heart?  A life of sublime accomplishment?  Exile the stage for truth saying?

A culture that does not produce great men stands in opposition to greatness and will perish in haste that cannot be imagined.

Is not Christ’s suffering a guidepost for us?