A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
June 30, 2020
June 30, 2020
By now most of you know that I do not work during the month of July as a I have an 11- month contract with the parish. During the month of July I would like to offer in my absence a series on virtues that I wrote some time ago. As I read through the articles in preparation for the bulletin I found it fitting that in this time of a global pandemic and the unbelievable heartbreak of so many who experience oppression and the effects of racism among us, we might all do well to be people of virtue.
Virtues – Part One: To Be As Christ
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4.8 Inspired by the Holy Spirit St. Paul writes to the people of Philippi encouraging them to continue to become more like Christ; to do and to act as Jesus Christ, even when things are not going their way. He, in effect, is speaking to them about becoming a virtuous people; to choose to live a moral and just life, to take on the habit of always choosing good. We take this age-old advice from St. Paul for ourselves as well, as we strive to live as Christians in our world today.
If I were to ask a few adults to name the virtues that our Church teaches, I am certain that many would hesitate, even doubt if they could name them. That doesn’t mean they/we are not living them, rather it would be an indication of how little we actually name them. We hear of them constantly in Sacred Scripture and certainly we understand Jesus as a man of virtue. This reminds me of how people often speak of our young people as not knowing the Ten Commandments. What I have witnessed in teaching catechetics is that they may not be able to recite them in order as my generation was taught to do, but when we begin to speak of how we are to live with one another, they touch on every one of the ten!
So I invite you to join me during this month of July as we explore together just how our Church continues to teach what St. Paul was teaching the people of his time. Let us learn together about the virtues and examine how we are growing in faith as we implement them in our daily Christian living.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) “A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.” (1803)
As a Catholic Church we recognize seven virtues belonging to two distinct categories:
Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, Love Moral or Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude There they are! Do you recognize them, any of them? Does it make sense to you that the Church teaches that it is important to practice these virtues in an effort to grow closer to God and his people?
According to the New American Dictionary a virtue is defined as: goodness, righteousness, integrity, honesty. It is also recognized as an asset, a desirable quality, or being of high caliber. It all seems to fit with our becoming more like Jesus Christ. Let’s keep in mind these virtues this week and note how often they or the thought of them come up in our daily lives.