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Posts Tagged ‘Virtues’

“Sadness is the end product of selfishness”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/03/18 at 12:00 AM
May no one read sadness or sorrow in your face, when you spread in the world around you the sweet smell of your sacrifice: the children of God should always be sowers of peace and joy. (Furrow, 59)

Being children of God, how can we be sad? Sadness is the end product of selfishness. If we truly want to live for God, we will never lack cheerfulness, even when we discover our errors and wretchedness. Cheerfulness finds its way into our life of prayer, so much so that we cannot help singing for joy. For we are in love, and singing is a thing that lovers do.

If we live our lives in this way, we shall be bringing peace to the world. We shall be making God’s service attractive to others, because ‘God loves a cheerful giver’ [1]. Christians are ordinary people, but their hearts overflow with the joy that comes when we set out to fulfil, with the constant help of grace, the will of the Father. Christians don’t see themselves as victims, underrated, or restricted in their behaviour. They walk head on high, because they are men and children of God.

Our faith brings out the full meaning of these human virtues, which no one should ever neglect. Christians should be second to none as human beings. Those who follow Christ are able (not by their own merit but by the grace of God) to communicate to those around them what they at times suspect but cannot quite grasp: that true happiness, a genuine spirit of serving our neighbour, can only come by passing through the Heart of our Redeemer, perfectus Deus, perfectus homo. (Friends of God, 92-93)

[1] 2 Cor 9:7

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“The strong man will at times suffer, but he stands firm”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/07/24 at 12:00 AM
The facade appears full of strength and resilience. But how much softness and lack of willpower there is within! You must hold to your determination not to let your virtues become fancy dress but clothes which define your character. (Furrow, 777)

No man, whether he be a Christian or not, has an easy life. To be sure, at certain times it seems as though everything goes as we had planned. But this generally lasts for only a short time. Life is a matter of facing up to difficulties and of experiencing in our hearts both joy and sorrow. It is in this forge that man can acquire fortitude, patience, magnanimity and composure.

The person with fortitude is one who perseveres in doing what his conscience tells him he ought to do. He does not measure the value of a task exclusively by the benefit he receives from it, but rather by the service he renders to others. The strong man will at times suffer, but he stands firm; he may be driven to tears, but he will brush them aside. When difficulties come thick and fast, he does not bend before them. (Friends of God, 77

“Our Lord wants us to be both very human and very divine”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/05/29 at 12:00 AM
Many years ago now, I saw most clearly a truth which will always be valid: the whole web of society needs to live anew and spread the eternal truths of the Gospel, since it has departed from Christian faith and morals. Children of God at the very heart of that society, of the world, have to let their virtues shine out like lamps in the darkness — quasi lucernae lucentes in caliginoso loco. (Furrow, 318)

If we accept the responsibility of being children of God, we will realize that God wants us to be very human. Our heads should indeed be touching heaven, but our feet should be firmly on the ground. The price of living as Christians is not that of ceasing to be human or of abandoning the effort to acquire those virtues which some have even without knowing Christ. The price paid for each Christian is the redeeming Blood of Our Lord and he, I insist, wants us to be both very human and very divine, struggling each day to imitate him who is perfectus Deus, perfectus homo.

I don’t know if I could say which is the most important human virtue. It depends on the point of view from which they are considered. In any case, this question doesn’t really get us anywhere, for it is not a matter of practicing one or even a number of virtues. We have to try to acquire and to practice all of them. Each individual virtue is interwoven with the others and, thus, our effort to be sincere will also make us upright, cheerful, prudent and composed.

At the same time, we must bear in mind that decision making and responsibility derive from the personal freedom of each individual. Virtues are therefore also radically personal, they pertain to the person. Nevertheless, in this great battle of love no one fights alone. None of us, I like to say, is a floating line of verse. In some way we are always either helping or hindering each other. We are all links in the same chain. Join with me now in asking Our Lord to grant that this chain may anchor us to his Heart until that day comes when we shall contemplate him face to face for ever in Heaven. (Friends of God, 75-76)