What does the word “virtuous” conjure up in your mind? Are you thinking of someone who is holier than thou? Are you thinking that it’s definitely not you? Well, think again! We all have good character traits that others see in us. Those good character traits are virtuous! And yes, we also have certain qualities about us that might not be so attractive. But that’s life! We are an imperfect people, striving for perfection that will be obtained in the next life. But for today, we are all on a journey, working our way home to Heaven! In this life, we have choices to make: Do we want to grow closer to God, or do we covet sin and vice?
Well, this past Saturday, I met with 48 wonderful people, who chose to find ways to grow closer to God. They attended my “Living a Virtuous Life” retreat – on a Saturday in December, no less, when we are all stressed with so many things to do to get ready for Christmas. These fine folks from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, in Monroe, NC decided that during this Advent season, they would put Christ first!
We unwrapped the gifts of Faith, Hope and Charity that we receive at Baptism and explored the impact that they have on our lives; in how we live as Christians, or better yet, in how we should live as Christians. We answered the question: Why do we believe, hope and love?
We then looked at the Cardinal virtues of Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude and Justice, along with the many acquired virtues that we obtain during our lives. Stories were shared and practical suggestions for incorporating virtuous activity into our lives were offered. At the end of the day, everyone left with knowledge of how to grow closer to Christ.
At the event, I shared a prayer that I say every time after receiving Communion. Those in attendance asked for a copy of the prayer, so here it is:
Lord, fill my soul with Your Goodness and Mercy.
Fill my mind with Your Wisdom, Counsel, Knowledge, Discernment and Understanding
Fill my heart with Your Love, and my body with Your Strength, so that I may do Your will and Your will alone.
I ask for this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
My thanks to Fr. Benjamin Roberts, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, for giving me the opportunity to share the message of Jesus’ way of conforming ourselves to Christ, by embracing virtuous traits and turning away from sin. It was a fun day for all, with everyone leaving with refreshed spirits, finding true Christian serenity. My thanks to the parishioners who ensured we were all well fed too!
My thanks, also, to all who attended the retreat and a special thanks to those who purchased a signed copy of Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity – Finding Patience for children that you love. May the recipients of my book always be graced with patience! May they continue to grow in virtue; growing ever closer to Christ.