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

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...

26 Dec 2016

Winter Blessings Bear Much Fruit


We officially entered the winter season last Wednesday, and are now in that time of year when life slows down dramatically, in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We welcome the opportunity to come in out of the cold and seek the warmth of a roaring fire. Unlike many people, I love this time of year! I appreciate a good snowfall, especially when I get to stay inside, all cozy and warm. As an avid reader, I love sitting by the fire, curled up with my favorite afghan and a good book. I appreciate the solitude that winter blessings bring!

Even in winter, when all life seems dormant, God is at work, renewing us. The lull of winter is a gracious gift from God, filled with winter blessings. Read more...

21 Dec 2016

Receive Christ's Love This Christmas - My Wish For You

It’s almost time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday! Christmas is almost here! I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If you are traveling, safe travels.

As we close out 2016, and look forward, with hope, to 2017, I want to share with you one of my favorite Christmas carols, performed by the late Bing Crosby and the late David Bowie. It’s called, Little Drummer Boy. The message of the song is that one little child “can give all the love he can.”

Enjoy the video, then read my comments below on how we can take this message and bring it to life this Christmas season. Read more...

19 Dec 2016

Most Highly Favored Daughter, by Janice Lane Palko - Book Review


Most Highly Favored Daughter, by Janice Lane Palko is salacious, intriguing and an all-around winner! If you are looking for a good book to read on a cold winter’s day, look no further than Most Highly Favored Daughter, set in Pittsburgh, PA during Super Bowl weekend.

Janice Lane Palko creates compelling, deeply fraught characters who lure you in from page one. Cara Hawthorne Wells, the socialite elite of the Pittsburgh area, finds herself in a real pickle early on in the book. Yet, Janice Lane Palko shows us that Cara is much more than a former debutante. Cara, a seeker of truth, demonstrates courage and integrity when faced with a sordid adversity. Cara’s sister, Sophia, originally comes across as the flighty, irresponsible sister. Yet, when adversity strikes, Sophia... Read more...

14 Dec 2016

Saint John of the Cross, Carmelite - Feast Day Celebration


St. John of the Cross, a 16th century saint, is most well-known for working with St. Teresa of Avila at reforming the Carmelite orders of priests and nuns. John of the Cross received his Carmelite habit in 1563. Upon obtaining his habit, he immediately asked to live a more austere life than his fellow Carmelites of the day. John sought to live a life more in line with the original meaning of being a Carmelite. In John’s day, the Carmelites had grown accustomed to the amenities of the 16th century. By living a more austere life, John of the Cross believed he lived a life more like the life of Christ.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1567, he met St. Teresa of Avila shortly thereafter in 1568. Together they worked tirelessly to reform the Carmelite orders of priest and nuns, bringing back the austerity of what it meant to walk with Christ.

In 1577, the Carmelite Order ordered St. John of the Cross to return to Medina. He refused, noting that he believed... Read more... 

12 Dec 2016

Our Lady of Guadalupe - Our Blessed Mother's Feast Day!


Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe; a day to remember and reflect upon Our Blessed Mother’s appearance to Juan Diego. When Our Blessed Mother appeared to Juan Diego, his country was under the influence of pagan beliefs in false gods. Mary appeared to him to set into motion a means for personally evangelizing the people of Central America. Her specific words to Juan Diego were:

I greatly desire that a church be built in my honor, in which I will show my love, compassion, and protection. I am your Mother, full of mercy and love for you and all those who love Me, trust in Me, and have recourse to Me. I will hear their complaints and I will comfort their affliction and their sufferings. So that I might show all My love, go now to... Read more... 

7 Dec 2016

8 Notes to a Nobody, by Cynthia T. Toney - Book Review


8 Notes to a Nobody, by Cynthia T. Toney, is a heartwarming, yet truthful, depiction of what it is like to be a teenage girl, coming of age. In Cynthia Toney’s tale, Wendy Robichaud, an eighth grader, comes face-to-face with some of the struggles that teens unfortunately face: eating disorders and teen suicide; feelings of inferiority and loneliness.

Read more...

28 Nov 2016

Advent - A Time for Preparation: Repent & Wait with Joy


Yesterday, we began the season of Advent, a time of preparation, repentance, waiting and joy. Sunday’s second reading from Romans 13:11-14 tells us to clothe ourselves in virtue:

Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.
 
When we put on the armor of light, we embrace virtue to... Read more...

23 Nov 2016

Attitude of Gratitude; Time to Give Thanks


An attitude of gratitude is in order as we approach Thanksgiving. We have come upon that time of year when we take stock of all that God has blessed us with and express our thanks. God’s Divine Providence is truly divine! He always meets our needs.

Whenever I have a bad, stressful day, I stop and take a few minutes to itemize the things for which I am grateful to God for providing for me. Somehow, rattling off this list always changes my mood. I begin to feel uplifted instantly. The chaos in my brain falls into order. The day’s stresses seem to dissipate. That’s because... Read more...