Deacon Jim Meyer, who we were lucky enough to have receive our vows at our wedding Mass, opened an RCIA class with an interesting thought. The gist: pray for virtue. But if, for example, you pray for patience, don’t expect traffic to clear up and lines to feel shorter. Expect more traffic, longer lines, children slower to obey. God builds our virtues by giving us the opportunity to build virtue.
This week I made the mistake of praying for a peaceful, clear mind. I’ve since been overwhelmed with the chatter of 5 beautiful kids (6 including my great-with-kids husband); answered so many questions that my stepson has nicknamed me “Google;” and hit my head in a football game leaving a dull ache for two days and counting.
Thank you, God, for the opportunity to try to keep my mind clear of clutter!
“Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good.”
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1804: Human Virtues (available from Ignatius Press)
Also recommended: Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues (Ignatius Press)