Certitude is an attitude of faith, confidence and certainty. It is taking bold steps forward after discerning what we believe to be true, and trusting that all will be well. We don’t allow the fads and ways of the world to control us. We hear a higher calling. We lead out lives by moral principles. Certitude begins by deeply exploring a belief or decision through prayer and contemplation. When clarity comes, we act as if it is true. Certitude helps us engage our will and take decisive action. Each step we take is sure and unwavering. Even if we stumble and fail, we don’t allow doubt to distract us from what we know. Certitude helps us to be sure.


…there is greater certitude in divine faith than in any human science.

— Encyclopedia of Catholicism

 The Practice of Certitude

  • I have faith in what I believe.
  • I don’t allow the world to define my values.
  • I am the leader of my life.
  • I pray for assurance.
  • I have the will to act with certainty.
  • I persevere in service of my purpose.
Definitions and practices of virtue are used with permission from the Virtues Project™.

In Family Life

The virtue of certitude in a family is demonstrated through an environment of trust, open communication, and unwavering support, all rooted in a shared certainty of values. It is a sense of steadfast assurance that family members can rely on each other, knowing their love and commitment to the family’s core values, and the virtues that support those values are steadfast. Decisions are made in such a family confidently, based on the virtues the family has agreed cannot be negotiated.

Conflicts are resolved with the idea that these shared values are the foundation upon which solutions can be built. Certitude in family values means that family members can count on one another to uphold the moral and ethical standards that define their collective identity, fostering a bond that is resilient and deeply meaningful in the face of life’s challenges.

Balancing Certitude

To maintain a healthy balance of certitude, several virtues come into play:

      • Humility: Humility reminds us to remain open to new ideas and perspectives, acknowledging that our certitude is not infallible. It keeps us from becoming overbearing and allows for personal growth through learning from others.
      • Wisdom: Wisdom guides us in discerning when to trust our certitude and when to reevaluate our beliefs in light of new information. It encourages us to be thoughtful and prudent in our decisions.
      • Courage: Courage gives us the strength to hold fast to our certitude when it aligns with our values, even in the face of adversity or doubt. It prevents us from being easily swayed by external pressures.
      • Flexibility: Flexibility helps us adapt and adjust when necessary, preventing our certitude from becoming rigid. It enables us to consider alternative viewpoints without compromising our core principles.

Certitude empowers us to act confidently and decisively in alignment with our beliefs and values. In balance, we find the strength to remain steadfast in our convictions while remaining open to the ever-evolving nature of truth and understanding.