Showing posts with label virtue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label virtue. Show all posts

29 Mar 2017

Finding Virtue in the Mundane: Even Doing Dishes!


So, how is doing the dishes well, or any other mundane task for that matter, virtuous? Well, let’s answer that question by first defining virtue:

“A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself.” 1
 
If you strive to always give your best to every task performed, even something so mundane as doing the dishes, then your action can be virtuous.

I remember, as a child, having the chore of doing the dinner dishes with my two sisters. The oldest sister always needed to go to the bathroom immediately after dinner. How convenient for her! She always got out of doing the dishes, unbeknownst to my mother. That left my middle sister and me, the youngest, to clear the table, wash and dry the dishes. (Yes, I am old! This was in the day before every household had an automatic dishwasher. But I digress.) My middle sister and I always fought over who would do what, and... Read more... 

27 Mar 2017

The Virtue Driven Life, by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R. - Book Review


The Virtue Driven Life, by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R., offers insightful information about the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance, along with scriptural passages, simple prayers, and citations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This gem of a book offers the basic information on these virtues in part I. He saves the best for last, though, when in part II, we learn some in-depth information on the Theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. Part II also provides scriptural passages, prayers and citations from the Catechism, in relation to the Theological virtues.

I was most impressed with Fr. Groeschel’s insight into the... Read more...

22 Mar 2017

Seeking Mercy This Lenten Season: A "See" Change


I’ve been slowly reading the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska; a little each week during my time in Adoration. I read a few pages and then stop to meditate on what she and Christ are communicating to me. You see, it is a story of Saint Faustina’s visions of the Lord, who instructed her on His mercy. It’s packed with a lot of great information; digestible in small bits. At this point, maybe I’ll finish the book by the end of this year! I started this book prior to the end of the Year of Mercy, because I wanted to learn more about Christ’s mercy. My Lenten mission is one of seeking mercy from Christ. Oh, am I learning a lot about His mercy!

Seeking Mercy: A “See” Change


This Lenten season has been fruitful in that I see a change occurring within me because of reading this book. I find myself seeking mercy a lot more than I had ever done in the past, and not just for myself. I find myself saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for our country, my family and friends. And, to be honest, I must admit, that... Read more... 

20 Mar 2017

Saint Joseph: The Silent Saint of Salvific Service


Saint Joseph, a man of few words; no – make that no words –had a huge impact on salvation history. He is portrayed in the Bible, without ever having spoken one word. All mention of him is in the third person. Yet, silent Saint Joseph was one of the most important instruments of Christ’s salvific action.

Had Joseph refused to take Mary as his wife, Mary would have been placed in a tenuous situation, and so would the safety of her child, Jesus. You see, in Mary’s day, if a woman was caught having relations with a man out of wedlock, she could have been stoned to death. Because Mary was pregnant with Jesus, everyone else would have assumed that Mary was having relations with a man. Therefore, no one would have understood that Mary’s pregnancy was a result of the Holy Spirit’s overshadowing of Mary. Saint Joseph’s silent “yes,” – his own “fiat,” to taking Mary as his wife – paved the way for fulfilling God’s plan for salvation. Thus, Jesus could be given a safe and secure means to grow to manhood. Read more...

15 Mar 2017

Seeking Forgiveness Can Be Painful, But Worth It!


Seeking forgiveness can be painful for a few reasons:

  1. Facing the reality of the hurt you caused another requires you to look the person in the eye when seeking forgiveness. When you do so, you see the pain caused by your actions/words.
  2. Seeking forgiveness requires humility. Many times our pride stands in the way of embracing humility. It is painful to humble ourselves and admit wrong-doing.
  3. When seeking forgiveness, we are beholden to another to graciously grant our request. We face the possibility of rejection, and that can be painful.

Seeking Forgiveness from Others


Over the course of my lifetime, I have found it much easier to forgive another, than to... Read more...

13 Mar 2017

What's the Prudent Thing to Do? You Decide - Take the Test!


In this scenario, determine the prudent thing to do:

Johnny, a high school student, was in the process of applying to colleges. He had his heart set on attending State University, as it had an excellent mathematics program. One problem though, the school requires an essay on how Johnny would make a positive impact on the university community, should he be accepted. Johnny wanted to major in math because he hated writing essays. Math is numbers, and Johnny was good at numbers; but not so good, when it came to writing essays.

A Prudent Course of Action?


Johnny’s friend, Matt, stopped by one afternoon after school, and Johnny let Matt know about the essay requirement. Johnny also knew that Matt was a good writer, as he was editor for the school’s newspaper. Johnny thought, maybe Matt could help me with the essay. Better yet, maybe... Read more...

8 Mar 2017

My Birthday Wish: All I want This Year is More Wisdom!


Today, I turn 60 and enter the winter of my life. I am starting it off with a bang! Tomorrow, I am having three teeth extracted, getting a partial temporary denture, and ultimately a four-tooth permanent (implant) bridge. I’m getting old! But with age, comes wisdom; the earthly kind.
Earthly wisdom comes from life’s experiences. Those of us in the winter of our lives have a keen awareness for what is important: a strong faith, good health, and our family’s welfare. We find that if we have these three things, then we have all that we need. However, even with the 60 years under my belt, I still seek more Wisdom. When you get to my age, you find yourself asking those soul searching questions:
  • Am I on the right course?
  • Am I living my life doing everything I can to accomplish God’s will?
  • Do I need to make amends with anyone?
Read more...

6 Mar 2017

God First, Country Second: A Call to Unity



I don’t know about you, but I have come to realize that I no longer need to look at the bottom of a TV screen to determine if the person speaking is a Democrat or a Republican. Those days of sharing common interests, across the aisles, are long gone. Today, each side toes the party line, tossing aside one’s own personal beliefs for the sake of the party. Somewhere in that logic, people forgot about God first, country second. You can hear it in the tone and rhetoric of discord. This ever-present disunity is the last thing Jesus would want for us.

Putting God First


Jesus was rather specific when He said:

Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one as we are (John 17:11).
 
As Christians, in Jesus’ name, we are expected... Read more...

20 Feb 2017

"Presidential" Virtuous Values - A Celebration of Past Presidents


Today is Presidents Day in the United States. On this day, we celebrate the contributions of past Presidents. What we remember most about these men stems from their character – their virtuous values.

Cherishing Virtuous Values


For example, we have the adage of George Washington, “I cannot tell a lie,” leading us to see George Washington as a man of truth and honor. We remember Abraham Lincoln for his fight for justice and peace; where “all men are created equal,” including those of color. Franklin D. Roosevelt said that “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself,” making Roosevelt a man of fortitude and courage. These men possessed virtuous values. Read more...

15 Feb 2017

What Does It Take to Truly Be Kind? Do You Have it In You?


Have you ever given it much thought: What does it take to truly be kind? What does it cost you in terms of time, talent or treasure?

Be Kind with Your Time


In terms of time, it can cost you nothing more than a fleeting second to smile at someone. Or, it can cost you all you have to give, to care for someone that you love who is ill. Many acts of kindness run somewhere in between these two extremes.

Be Kind with Your Talent


As to talent, perhaps you are gifted in understanding mathematical equations (I know I am not). Perhaps you could give of your time, as a tutor, one hour a week. Or, perhaps you are a subject matter expert on a given topic. If so, you can lend your life’s work to solving problems for the common good. Odds are that... Read more...

13 Feb 2017

Hold on to Hope for Dear Life - Your Life!


Do you ever give much thought to the afterlife? Or do you live in the here and now? Do you know why you live and what you are living for? Or are you oblivious to your purpose for existence? Did you know that you were created by God to live with Him, in Heaven, for all eternity? Do you realize that life on earth is only your temporary home; that your real home is with God in Heaven? Do you live for this world, or the next? If you answered for the next, then the virtue of Hope is your... Read more...

8 Feb 2017

Place Your Confidence in Christ


In what do you place your confidence? Might it be your own knowledge? Your abilities to conquer any situation? Where does Christ fit into the equation? Do you face this world on your own, or do you place your confidence in Christ?

When we place our confidence in Christ, we are in essence doing the following:
  1. Acknowledging Christ’s omnipotence (all-powerful Being), His omniscience (all-knowing), and His omnipresence (ability to be present everywhere). This requires some humility, acknowledging our own limitations.
  2. Trusting in His promise to always be by our sides, guiding us (Matt 28:20). This requires some faith, acknowledging... Read more... 

6 Feb 2017

Struggle with Pain; Suffer with Christ


Do you struggle with pain? I do! I live with congenital clubbed feet. This means that I was born with all of my bones, from my toes to my pelvis, twisted out of alignment. In essence, my feet curve inward, where your feet stand straight. At birth, the doctors thought that I would never walk; that I would be in a wheelchair my entire life. Yet, I defied the odds, and at age two, stood up and started walking, albeit clumsily. This meant that I would need special shoes.

Throughout my almost 60 years, I have... Read more...

1 Feb 2017

February: The Month of Love and Kindness


Today, we usher in February, known familiarly as the month of love and kindness. During this month, we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 12-18. And let’s not forget Valentine’s Day smack-dab in the middle of the month on the 14th. We see hearts everywhere, on boxes of candies and greeting cards; in store-front windows and in commercials on TV, as if we needed a reminder to show our love and kindness to others.

I think it is all well and good that we highlight these virtues during the month of February, as I am all in favor of highlighting virtue, given any opportunity! Yet, we are called to express these virtues day in and day out; not just during one week in February.

Test Your Love and Kindness Quotient


Here’s a little quiz for you to see how much love and kindness flows from you on a regular basis: Read more...

25 Jan 2017

Patience: God Will Make a Way for Me


Patience is my most difficult virtue to master. I have difficulty waiting for things and answers to prayers in God’s time. I see the need for urgent response to prayer. Yet, for some reason, the Lord sees things differently. He does not see the urgency I see. That is my first clue, that MY plan may not necessarily be His plan. So what is His plan for me? When He “delays” in revealing His plan for me, I get frustrated. I lose patience. Does this sound familiar to you? Can you relate?

Patience Requires Trust


When I get frustrated, I must acknowledge that the root of my impatience is a lack of trust in God’s Providence. I question God’s logistics, using my limited scope of vision. I realize that much of what I hope for seems impossible to achieve without God’s involvement. Therefore, patience requires... Read more...

18 Jan 2017

Virtuous Leadership, by Alexandre Havard - Book Review


If you are looking for a way to bring virtue to the workplace, without coming across as a “Holy Roller,” then Virtuous Leadership, by Alexandre Havard is the book for you! Right from the book’s introduction you learn that “leadership is character” (Introduction xi). Havard tells us that people obtain good character as a the result of perseverance toward personal excellence. So, how do we achieve personal excellence? We do so through the practice of virtue. Havard is a man after my own heart! He speaks my language; the language of virtue.

We perceive and interpret things through the lens of character. By strengthening our character – i.e., by growing in virtue – we improve our ability to deliberate in the light of reason (p. 70).
 
In Virtuous Leadership, the author deftly covers the major components of virtuous leadership; ... Read more...

16 Jan 2017

Facing Struggles? You are Never Alone!


Do you ever get the feeling that when you are facing struggles, you are alone? That no one other than you face such challenges? That everyone else seems to have it so much easier? That is exactly what happened to me recently.

Back in 2008, when the US suffered the financial meltdown, and many people lost their jobs, I was one of the lucky ones who maintained my job. Selfishly, at the time, I didn’t give this national problem much attention, because it didn’t impact me directly. Now eight+ years later, with an unemployment rate lower than 5%, my husband lost his job in August, and at 63 is having difficulty finding a new job. With such a low unemployment rate, we don’t know anyone else in such a position – therefore, we feel as though we face this struggle alone.

Then one day, I was standing... Read more... 

11 Jan 2017

Maintaining Self-Control as Willpower Wanes


Eleven days into the new year – How’s that resolution coming along? Still going strong, or has the willpower waned? Making positive change is not always so easy. We all have good intentions as the ball drops at midnight on New Year’s Day. We even have that gung-ho attitude on the first Monday back to work. Everyone is ready to hit the salad bar rather than the burger joint. The local gym is overcrowded with people working out. Self-Control is on steroids!

Then, after a few days, the desire to keep up the diet, or go to the gym, or resist that cigarette seems to wane. What is one to do? How can you keep your new year’s resolution to improve your life when your willpower seems to desert you and your self-control becomes non-existent? Read more...

9 Jan 2017

Baptism of the Lord - A Day to Remember God's Love


Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. This day marks the end of Jesus’ private life and the beginning of His public ministry. On the River Jordan, Jesus allowed Himself to be baptized with water by Saint John the Baptist. As Jesus came out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, hovering over Jesus’ head, with the Father’s voice resounding “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). God the Father makes this declarative statement, clearly articulating that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The second half of the commentary is an expression of the Father’s love for His Son. Jesus is Our God, and He is loved by the Father in union with the Holy Spirit – Trinitarian Love expressed at the Baptism of Our Lord.

Correlation to Our Own Baptism


We experienced that same Trinitarian love when we were baptized. The Father... Read more... 

28 Dec 2016

Time for Reflection - Making that New Year's Resolution


With every years’ end, we tend to enter a time for reflection. We assess our lives, our dreams, and the course we are on. We look to see where we need to make changes; therein lies the proverbial need for the “New Year’s Resolution.”

I bring you suggestions for how to approach making your New Year’s resolutions this year – resolutions that will last! These suggestions might be considered as slightly off the beaten path; nonetheless, they are a path work taking.

Rather than:
  1. Going on a diet to lose weight, try to better understand why you overeat, or eat the unhealthy foods, and then resolve to fix the underlying cause instead.
  2. Going cold turkey to stop drinking or smoking, try to better understand why you do it in the first place, and then resolve to fix the underlying cause instead.
Do you see where I am going here with these suggestions? .. Read more...

The Past: What We Know, What We Don'’t

I was writing about cancer and medical knowledge we've accumulated over the last few millennia, when I realized that I'd gotten mo...