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

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... 

5 Jun 2017

Common Ground Can Lead to Peace


Common ground can lead to Peace throughout our country and throughout the world; yet, most importantly through faith. How so? Well, common ground is the starting place for dialogue; for finding that shared perspective upon which good relationships can be built. Here’s some places where we can start:

  1. Abraham is the father of our faiths. Whether one is Christian, Muslim or Jewish, we all share this common ground, as all three religions stem from this one man who placed his faith in God.
  2. The Christian Bible, Islamic Quran and Jewish Torah all contain... Read more... 

31 May 2017

Gifts of the Visitation, by Denise Bossert - Book Review


Gifts of the Visitation – Nine Spiritual Encounters with Mary and Elizabeth, by Denise Bossert, is filled with virtue! I thoroughly enjoyed how Bossert took Luke’s accounting of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and highlighted all the virtue contained within it (Luke 1: 39-80). Bossert devotes nine chapters to discuss nine virtues; so beautifully brought to life in her book. She brings a whole new, refreshing outlook to this passage. From Mary’s spontaneous yes, to her courage needed to fulfill God’s word, to the thanksgiving Mary expresses to God for entrusting her with such an important honor, we traverse with Mary to visit Elizabeth.

As a mother herself, Denise Bossert, correlates stories from her own life with Luke’s Gospel passage. She peppers her life’s stories; intertwined with the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. The reality of Denise Bossert’s life makes the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth that much more enchanting and meaningful.

Read more...


29 May 2017

Memorial Day: Remembering the Dead and The Family Left Behind


With today being Memorial Day, I thought I would use the power of my space to tell you about a fine young man who died serving his country in Vietnam. PFC Thomas Wayne Myers, born on March 9, 1943, was my next-door neighbor. I was just a child of 12 years old, on that warm Spring morning of May 27, 1969, when Tommy died at Dinh Tuong Province, Vietnam.

Memories


I remember being outside, playing by myself, when the Army car pulled up in front of the house, on Saturday, May 31st. It was Memorial Day weekend! Two men, dressed in uniforms, got out of the car and walked up the driveway to ring Mrs. Myers’ doorbell. I stood on my front lawn and watched as they approached Mrs. Myers’ front door to tell her that her son had died in service to his country. From that moment on... Read more...

24 May 2017

Novena to the Holy Spirit - Seeking Virtue


The annual Novena to the Holy Spirit begins this coming Friday, May 26th and continues through to the day before Pentecost, June 3rd. In this Novena, we ask the Holy Spirit to grace us with seven gifts. Each one of theses gifts happen to be virtues as well:

  1. Awe (also known as Reverence) – We ask for a sovereign respect for God, as well as a filial submission to the Father.
  2. Piety – We ask for love and respect for those consecrated to God; including priests and religious, the Blessed Mother, the Saints, the Church, our parents, and our country and its rulers.
  3. Fortitude – We ask for the strengthening of our souls against natural fear. We also ask for support in performance of our duties; to endure without complaint.
  4. Read more...

22 May 2017

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis - Book Review


I was long overdue, but recently, I finally sat down and read the classic, Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. Once I opened the book, and read the first chapter, I questioned what took me so long to get to this masterpiece, centered on man’s reaction to moral concepts and what it truly means to be Christian. C.S. Lewis begins with a discussion on Natural Law:

Whether we like it or not, we believe in the Law of Nature. If we do not believe in decent behaviour, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently (p. 8)?
 
Hmm…that’s something to chew on! Lewis’ logic and common sense abound in Mere Christianity. Written during the Second World War, this book was aimed at helping people make sense out of tragedy. Lewis attempts to assist his fellowman in mentally processing the atrocity of evil acts, so prevalent at the time. He asserts that we, as Christians, are called to love our neighbors, of whom some of them might actually be our enemies. Yet, in war-torn England, in the 1940’s, how could it be possible to “love our enemies”?

Read more...

17 May 2017

Pruning Bears Much Fruit!


In today’s Gospel reading from John 15:1-8, we hear one of my favorite Gospel readings. We learn how Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. God the Father is the vinedresser, who cares for the vine and its branches. What beautiful imagery of a life-giving force! Yet, even vine branches require pruning and trimming to promote further growth. When we hear about the pruning of the vine in this Gospel passage, take note that we are the ones of whom Jesus references! As God prunes His vine branches, He removes those aspects of our lives that hinder further growth.

Pruning for Future Growth


For me, God prunes my prideful ways, so that... Read more... 

10 May 2017

Seeking Justice: My Time on Jury Duty


In the United States, a person is presumed innocent, until the State can prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the person, charged with a crime, is guilty. I got to see the wheels of justice turn, first-hand, during the last week in April, while serving on  jury duty. A husband/father was accused of assaulting his wife and daughter; hence two counts of assault.

The trial was fascinating, especially the jury selection part of the trial. I thought, for sure, I would be dismissed for two reasons:

  1. I have many years of training, as an auditor, where my job was to ascertain whether someone was telling the truth. Whichever side was planning to present sketchy information, I would surely figure it out.
  2. I have a Masters in Theology, and I teach morality. If I’ve learned anything over the past six years of study, it is that you do not draw a black or white, yes or no conclusion of a moral act, without considering intent and circumstances.

For these reasons, I felt certain that either the Prosecution or the Defense would dismiss me. But no, I became Juror #9. Read more...

1 May 2017

Saint Joseph, the Worker Feast Day


Saint Joseph is so special to the Catholic faithful, that we have two feast days set aside each year to honor him: March 19th (unless this date falls on a Sunday like it did this year, then it’s March 20th), and May 1st. Typically, on March 19th, we honor Saint Joseph as husband of Mary, and foster father to Jesus. We thank him for being such a good role model as a faithful husband and father.

Today, we honor Saint Joseph, the Worker, a carpenter, by trade. He worked diligently to provide for his family. Humble in nature, compassionate in heart, Saint Joseph remained ever faithful to God, and Mary. Beyond his humility and compassionate nature, there is so much to admire about Saint Joseph, as he truly was a virtuous man in every respect. To this day, he continues to serve as an exemplar of virtue for men to follow.

Read more...

27 Apr 2017

Back to Virtue, by Peter Kreeft - Book Review


In Back to Virtue, Peter Kreeft takes you into the classroom of moral theology, where you will learn why we need virtue to preserve human existence. For starters, Kreeft clearly defines the differentiation between virtue and vice. He discusses the cardinal Virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude, as well as the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. Then, using the Beatitudes, he teaches us about each virtue that counters each of the seven deadly sins of anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, sloth and the root of all evil, pride.

His words of wisdom percolate throughout this book. Here’s just one example:

If we can conquer everything except ourselves, the result is that we do not hold the power. 1
 
Once we learn that God is in control, and that He holds the power, then we begin to learn that... Read more...

24 Apr 2017

3 Steps to Mercy for You - Guest Blogger, Kaitlyn Mason


There’s a lot of mercy talk these days in the Church. Why?  Because it’s the time of mercy!

Yesterday was Divine Mercy Sunday. If you’re not familiar with this message and devotion, take a moment to learn a little more here.

We should strive to show mercy to everyone we meet. Mercy is a great virtue, no doubt.  But today I want to ask you, how often do you show mercy to yourself?

Are you your own worst critic? Are you hyperaware of your faults and not sure how to actually improve?  Do you ever beat yourself up at the end of the day for not doing a better job at keeping it all together?

I’ve been working on kicking these bad attitudes for a while now, with great success. How?  Divine Mercy! Read more...

19 Apr 2017

Flee Your Road to Emmaus; Turn Your Sights on Jesus

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke 24:13-35 speaks to us of Jesus’ walk with two men on the Road to Emmaus. We begin with two men departing Jerusalem, saddened in the realization that Jesus was not who they thought him to be. They were disappointed, for they thought He was their savior; yet He died. So much for being a savior! How often can we say that we are like the two men on the Road to Emmaus? Do we give up on Jesus when He does not do what we wish, or what we think is right?  These men wanted Jesus to rise to the level of King, but He died, and with that their belief in Him.

Road to Emmaus: Signs of Faith


As the men were walking, Jesus approached them. However, Jesus disguised Himself, disabling them to “see” Jesus as the Risen Lord. While walking with the men, Jesus asked them what they were discussing. The two men informed Jesus about the events of recent days: Jesus’ arrest, humiliation, crucifixion and death. They had hoped that “he would be the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24: 21). Even with the declaration from the women who visited the tomb, that the tomb was empty and that the Lord had risen, these two men were walking away from Jerusalem, downcast; their faith shattered. How often do we see signs of faith, but choose to ignore them? Read more...

17 Apr 2017

Hope in the Resurrection: Believe in Christ's Promises


The Lord is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Happy Easter Monday everyone! Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, on Easter Sunday morning, is such a glorious reason to celebrate, that the Church gives us seven weeks to soak in this wonderful event! Easter runs from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. The meaning of Jesus’ resurrection is so profound that we need this much time to discern its impact for all mankind. Jesus conquered death, and in the process, showed us all the way to new life – eternal life! In Jesus, we all have the hope of one day being resurrected with glorious bodies.

Hope for the Eternal


As Christians, we place all our hope in the promises of Christ, because Jesus spoke Truth, and only the truth. So, if He says something... Read more...  

The View of Self That Does Not Lead to Pride

Especially as Catholics, many of us have been taught not to think too highly of ourselves or we will fall into pride. I myself have fallen i...