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

20 Sep 2017

Many Ways to Steal! An Elaboration on the Seventh Commandment


So, you think you know what it means to steal? Why, it is the taking of another’s property against the owner’s will, right? Yes, but stealing also includes:

vandalism, cheating on exams, reporting more payroll hours than actually worked, wasting time at work, price gouging, shoplifting,” 1
 
as well as, finding things of value and not returning them to the rightful owner. Let’s also include:

“failure to pay taxes and bills, overspending the money of another person, failing to put in an honest day’s work, and reneging on a business contract.” 2
 
Let’s finish off this massive list with the well known actions of robbery and excessive gambling. This laundry list of 13 different actions sum up how to violate the Seventh Commandment: “You shall not steal” (Ex 20:15).

You thought you were scot-free because you never held anyone at gunpoint and took their watch and money, or because you never robbed a bank, right? Well... Read more...

18 Sep 2017

Multiple Sins Against Chastity - A Look at the Ninth Commandment


Human love demands a total self-giving of one to another within the covenant of marriage. There is no room for self-gratification, or for expressions of sexual intercourse aside from the conjugal act within marriage. For when these things happen, they are not based on love. Rather, they are based upon deception and a misuse of one’s own sexuality. Actions such as these, linked to the Ninth Commandment, diminish the dignity of all parties involved. Innately, we all know this, because God has infused within each one of us His Natural Law of right versus wrong. Yet, we still commit the sins against Chastity.

Sins Against Chastity


We know that to practice Chastity, we are to refrain from engaging in sexual relations with someone other than one’s own spouse. When we do not refrain from doing so, we commit the sins of... Read more...

11 Sep 2017

Turn the Tide: An Elaboration on the Fifth Commandment


Oh, there are so many ways to violate the Fifth Commandment! Did you know that? Besides murder, we can violate this commandment as follows, via showing a disrespect for others in the form of

…anger, hatred, abusive language, resentment, omissions in service, racism, and failures to treat enemy oppressors with love. Revenge or vindictiveness also has no place in the heart of a Christian.” 1
 
After reading this list, are you like me? Are you having a “whoa” moment, thinking about all the times when you got unjustly angry because of greed or pride? Are you saying “ouch” when you realize that you think you’re better than others, only to learn that you are not (hatred and racism)? How about when you resented someone for getting something you wanted, and envy reared its ugly head?

More Ways to Violate the Fifth Commandment!


It gets even worse! We can violate the Fifth Commandment by showing a disrespect for ourselves, when we commit... Read more...

30 Aug 2017

Emoji Virtues!? Guest Post: Cathy Gilmore from Virtue Works Media

Emoji Virtues in our emotions? Is that even possible?


When we encounter characters in the books we read, the movies and TV we watch, as well as in the ever-unfolding story we call real life, we can witness virtues. Virtue comes alive in people’s beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, decisions and actions. But, how often do we consider the way that virtue can operate in human feelings and emotions?

A lifetime of research by a Catholic spiritual psychology pioneer, Richard Johnson, PhD. revealed that we  have special spiritual strengths, otherwise known as virtues; which specifically operate in the part of our personality whose function is emotion. He identifies Joyfulness, Trust, Devotion, Empathy and Gratitude as personality traits that we can cultivate as holy habits of virtue in a unique way in our emotions. Often, we think of emotions as something reactive; triggered by some new situation, or a recalled memory. However, through the miracle of virtue, aided by God’s grace, we can be INTENTIONAL about our every thought and action. Surprisingly, this intentionality applies equally to our emotions also. So, in short, yes, there are Emoji Virtues. We can make them a priority in the internal routine of our lives!

Do You Let Pride and Fear Rule Your Life?


It is interesting to note that our media and entertainment often portrays lives that ricochet between emotional extremes. We are led to believe that... Read more... 

28 Aug 2017

Saint Augustine: Servant, Lover of Mankind, and Truth Seeker


Today, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Augustine, born in 354 in Tagaste, northern Africa. Augustine was the son of Saint Monica, a devout Christian. However, one might say that in Augustine’s youth, he wasn’t one to follow in his mother’s saintly footsteps. In his early adulthood, Augustine had a concubine, who bore him a son; yet they never married. He dabbled is a few heresies such as Manicheanism (rooted in Gnosticism) and Neoplatonism (heavily influenced by the works of Plato).

The Conversion of Saint Augustine


It was only after moving to Italy, where he took a position in rhetoric, and after meeting Saint Ambrose, that Augustine began to explore the Christian faith. Although Augustine was gifted in rhetoric, he was no match for Saint Ambrose, who evangelized to Augustine on the truths of the faith. In 387, at the age of 33, after experiencing a profound personal crisis, Augustine converted to Christianity, with Saint Ambrose baptizing him. Augustine’s baptism became a... Read more... 

23 Aug 2017

Giving God His Due: Keeping the Sabbath Holy


Do you have any idea WHY you must keep holy the Sabbath (Ex 20:8)? Do you view the “requirement” to go to Church on Sunday as just another chore that must be done over the weekend? Well, let me clear up a few things for you. Giving God His due, by attending services on Sunday is not something that God needs. You’re the one who needs it! God doesn’t need anything. So, the Commandment to “keep holy the Sabbath” is in place for your benefit. God created this Commandment for two reasons:

  1. God deserves at least one day per week where we honor, praise and thank Him for all that He blesses us with throughout the week. This is called giving God His due.
  2. He thinks we deserve a day of rest once per week.

Giving God His Due Should Be a Joy


So, rather than viewing the Sabbath as a “to do” that must be marked off on your list, think of it as... Read more... 

21 Aug 2017

Cursing Isn’t Cool! Look at What Happened to Scaramucci!



Hmm…Do you let the curse words fly, every now and then? Or perhaps it’s more like every other word that comes out of your mouth? Well, let me be old fashioned and tell you that cursing isn’t cool! In fact, cursing makes you sound crude, rude and undignified. Look at what happened to President Trump’s latest Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci. Newly hired, he conducted a taped interview with the NY Times. When the tape was played, there were so many “bleeps,” because of foul language, that the audio was barely intelligible. Let’s just say that many people were offended after hearing the unfiltered recording, and the man was fired ten days into the job. Cursing isn’t cool!

Cursing Violates the Second Commandment


Did you know that? God gave us the Second Commandment to show us how to live a dignified life. Since we are made in His image and likeness, we are meant to... Read more...

16 Aug 2017

When Do You Ask God to Take a Back Seat? A Look at the First Commandment


How well do you think you adhere to the First Commandment to worship no other gods besides the one true God? Do you think that because you “believe” in the one true God, that you’re good? Think again. When we place money, power, fame, or anything else first in our lives, we ask God to take a back seat. By doing that, we violate the First Commandment.

Do You ask God to Take a Back Seat?


We are all guilty of asking God to take a back seat in our lives, from time to time. For example, when we obsess about finances, feeling compelled to find a better paying job, we ask God to take a back seat. Rather than trusting in the Lord to provide, we feel obligated to fix the situation ourselves. This is because... Read more...

14 Aug 2017

Feast of St. Maximillian Kolbe - a 20th Century Saint


Today is the Feast Day of Saint Maximillian Kolbe, a 20th century Franciscan monk. He died in the Auschwitz concentration camp, in Poland, during World War II. In true Christian fashion, he laid down his life for another person, by volunteering to take the place of another man. This one action shows fortitude, courage, bravery, and self-giving love in a truly Christ-like manner. Who among us could say that we would have the strength of faith to do the same? At the time of his death, he was only 47 years old. But what he accomplished, in such a short life, is forever memorable.

Maximillian Kolbe’s Love for the Immaculate Conception


As a young boy, Mary, the Immaculate Conception, appeared to Maximillian Kolbe and offered him a choice between two crowns; one white, for perseverance in piety, and the other red, for martyrdom. Maximillian bravely replied... Read more... 

9 Aug 2017

Dying for Compassion, by Barbara Golder – Book Review


Dying for Compassion, by Barbara Golder is sure to be a hit! As with Golder’s first book, Dying for Revenge, familiar characters return for more mysteries to solve. Once again, we meet our Lady Doc, Jane Wallace, the lead character. She is a strong, feminine role model carrying the titles of forensic pathologist, medical examiner, AND lawyer – quite an accomplished woman!  In Dying for Compassion, Jane is faced with several deaths occurring in her town; unexplained poisonings and a possible case of euthanasia. As the intentions behind these deaths stump Jane, she is thrown off-kilter in her personal life.

The storyline from Dying for Revenge carries through to Dying for Compassion. In Dying for Revenge, Jane processed grief from the loss of her husband, John. She meets author, Eoin Connor, who helps her through her grief and the two develop a romantic relationship. Fast forward to Dying for Compassion, and Eoin Connor becomes a central character.

Everything is going swimmingly between Jane and Eoin, until one night... Read more...

7 Aug 2017

Excuse Me! When Did Lying Become Morally Acceptable?


I’m the type of person that treasures truth. Therefore, if I learn that a person has lied to me, I tend to lose all respect for the person. My husband and I discussed this very topic early on in our courting relationship. After 38 years of marriage, I can say that being truthful with each other is what held us together. There have been times when the truth was painful, but my husband knew that lying would result in worse consequences. So, it is in the sharing of truth, that we have stayed together, through the good times and the bad.

Lying Breeds Mistrust


It is through the sharing of the truth that trust is built. A marriage without trust is not a good marriage; just as any relationship, without trust, is not a good relationship. It takes a lifetime to build a relationship based upon truth and trust. Yet, it takes only five minutes and one lie to smash it all to smithereens! Read more...

2 Aug 2017

Neighborly Love: Who is My Neighbor? What Does It Entail?


Do you think that you can pick and choose who you want to love? Do you think you can toss aside those not selected? Think again! As Christians, we are called to love, serve and forgive everyone. That is neighborly love! However, given our human weaknesses, that’s a tall order! Yet, as followers of Christ, it is a mantle we must take upon ourselves. Christ asks much of us, but with his command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39), He gives us the grace needed to fulfill His desire.

Who is Your Neighbor?


Although I have the best next-door neighbors (Mike and Carolyn), they alone are not the only ones that Christ calls me to love. When Christ says “Love your neighbor” He is referring to every person that crosses your path. He is not asking you to form a friendly bond with every human being, but He is asking you to... Read more... 

12 Jul 2017

Moral Behavior: Are We Losing Sight of Objective Truth?


I am an adjunct professor of Theology, who specifically teaches a morality course at the undergraduate level. Given the recent shooting at a Republican baseball practice, and the ensuing remarks from Congressional representatives that “we are on one team,” I was encouraged by the willingness of both parties to place vitriol commentary into the history books; to reset, so to speak, and begin toning down the rhetoric. However strong this intention may be, the spirit is weak. It will take more than mere effort to be more civil to one another. There is an underlying concern that must be addressed to allow civility to flourish. As a society, we must face objective truth, together.

Objective Truth


The belief in objective truth seems to have taken a back seat to such erroneous concepts of morality as situation ethics, proportionalism and consequentialism. But before I get ahead of myself here, by diving too deep into these topics, let’s first define objective truth, as it is my greatest concern. We, as a society, are not working together to understand, and abide by, objective truth.

Objective Truth: “…those essential and innate human and moral values which flow from... Read more... 

10 Jul 2017

The Purpose of Birthdays: Showing Love


Today marks my husband’s 64th birthday! So, I take this opportunity to wish Nick a very Happy Birthday. Have you ever wondered why we mark birthdays as a time to celebrate the passing of another year? If we gave it some thought, a birthday means that we have one less year to live on earth. We have one less year to accomplish our goals. Yet, birthdays are meant to be celebrated. Why? Because it is a very good way to show love to those we hold most dear. It’s a day to place a loved one upon a pedestal; to show that person how much they mean to us.

God’s Desire


As humans, we are born into families. Families act as our nucleus for love. Within families, we learn not only how to receive love, but to how to give love in return. God created humankind to live in community with each other, making us social beings yearning for love. The love that we extend to our family and friends is an... Read more...

28 Jun 2017

Love Letters from God, by Glenys Nellist - Book Review


Love Letters from God, Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart, by Glenys Nellist is endearing, wonderful, chocked filled with virtue, and beautifully illustrated. Nellist shares with us fourteen stories from the Bible, centered on heroic females, highlighting their good traits. She takes us from the Old Testament, through to the New Testament; giving us a different story about each protagonist, salient Bible quotes, and most importantly, personalized letters from God, addressed to your child (with lift the flap notes).

Love Letters from God Make for Sweet Dreams!


Each of the fourteen tales make for excellent bedtime stories to read to your child; sending them into slumber with heroic females to dream about. Nellist starts with... Read more...

21 Jun 2017

Summer: A Time for Introspection and Spiritual Growth


As schools let out, the lazy days of summer are upon us. This is a great time for some reflection and introspection regarding your spiritual life. We’re about half-way through the year. As we embarked on 2017, many of us made New Year’s resolutions. So, how’s that coming along? If you are like me, you don’t even remember what those resolutions might have been! I certainly do not remember what I vowed to do, not do, or overcome.

My Own Introspection


So, I sit here on the precipice of summer, asking myself what I would like to accomplish with the second half of 2017. Here’s what I came up with:

Read more...

19 Jun 2017

True Radiance, by Lisa Mladinich - Book Review


True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life, by Lisa Mladinich, was an enjoyable read! I approached 60 this year. So, I thought this book might offer me some insight in how I might grow old gracefully. As I opened the book and began to read, I quickly learned that Mladinich had other designs. She wants us to know that regardless of our age,

The second half of life is a time of building on the past, growing in virtue, and deepening our connection with God, the source and summit of all beauty. Our beauty is not fading; it’s getting more powerful. It’s having more impact. It’s becoming what it was meant to be from the beginning (p. 135).
 
How reassuring is that! What a powerful statement! Mladinich tells us throughout the book that our beauty comes from... Read more... 

14 Jun 2017

The U.S. Flag: What Virtues Does It Represent?


Today is Flag Day! Happy Flag Day to all my fellow United States citizens. Today in America, we celebrate what the U.S. flag means to us all. With that in mind, I thought I would hone in on some virtues, for which I think the U.S. flag proudly represents.

Virtues of the U.S. Flag


Courage: The U.S. flag is a symbol of courage. Many men and women have given their lives in defense of our freedom and democracy. It represents all the blood, sweat and tears shed, so that we might enjoy our freedom accorded by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Acceptance: Read more...

12 Jun 2017

Love is in the Air! Wedding Bells Ring!


It is wedding season and love is in the air! In the United States, June is always a very popular month to get married. The weather is usually wonderful; the flowers are in bloom, and it’s a great time for family and friends to come together. Yet, marriage is more than a celebration.

What brings two people to the altar of marriage is a love formed by God; a uniting in a covenant; the giving of one, fully to another. Remember asking your mom, “When will I ever fall in love?” or asking a friend, “When will I find my soul mate?”

Loving any another person is always a choice; but falling in love, with your soul mate, that’s a whole different thing! That’s because... Read more...

7 Jun 2017

Hope is the Wind Beneath All Virtue


Hope is like a cool breeze on a hot summer day. It propels us to persevere in times of struggle. It whisks us along when we don’t know what else to do. Hope carries us when life seems at its worst. It also acts as a prelude for receipt of many other virtues. For example, if I want to lose weight, I would need the virtues of self-control and temperance to successfully lose the weight; but, without hope at the onset, how could self-control and temperance ever take hold? If I feel defeated before starting, then how could I ever achieve my goal? So, I must have... Read more... 

Many Ways to Steal! An Elaboration on the Seventh Commandment

So, you think you know what it means to steal? Why, it is the taking of another’s property against the owner’s will, right? Yes, but stea...