O Most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph

O Most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph
In you we place all our faith and all our trust.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

V is for VIRTUES

+ JMJ +

Faith, Hope and Charity

This week, I am joining Jenny Matlock for some Alphabe-Thursday fun, where each participant writes a blog post using the letter of the day.  Today's post is brought to you by the venerable letter, V.  =)

At first, I tried to do a post on VICISSITUDES.  But nothing really interesting came out of that.  So then I thought of VIRTUES.  Years ago, I had read the book, A Year with the Saints by TAN Books and Publishers.  It contained inspiring (at least, to me!) episodes and sayings about common Christian virtues from the lives of the great Saints.

For this post, I decided to focus on the 3 theological virtues of  faith, hope, and charity.  I've highlighted some sayings and episodes from the book for me to refer to when the need arises -- mostly so I can try and grow in these virtues!  (I need constant reminders!) 

According to the Catechism, the theological virtues are gifts of grace from God.  Got the quick definitions below from Wikipedia:
  • Faith - steadfastness in belief
  • Hope - expectation of and desire of receiving; refraining from despair and capability of not giving up
  • Charity - selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness such as helping one's neighbors
The language of the quotes below may sound a bit archaic, but in my humble opinion, they are gems of wisdom for all the ages!  Hope they may be of some help to you, too ....

God certainly desires our greatest good more than we ourselves desire it. He knows better than we by what way it can come to us; and the choice of ways is wholly in His hands, as it is He who governs and regulates all that occurs in the world. It is, then, most certain that in all chances that can befall, whatever may happen will always be best for us.----St. Augustine

St. Francis de Sales, knowing that all events succeed one another according to the disposal of Divine Providence, rested upon it more tranquilly than an infant upon its mother's bosom. 

Do you desire security? Here you have it. The Lord says to you, "I will never abandon you, I will always be with you!" If a good man made you such a promise, you would trust him. God makes it, and do you doubt? Do you seek a support more sure than the word of God, which is infallible? Surely, He has made the promise, He has written it, He has pledged His word for it, it is most certain.----St. Augustine

St. Francis de Sales was filled with so much confidence in God that he was in perfect tranquillity amid the greatest disasters; for he could not persuade himself, as he often said, that anyone who trusts in a Providence infinite in all respects, has not cause to hope for a good result from whatever it permits to happen to him.

When we find ourselves in any danger, even a grave one, we ought not to lose courage, but to trust much in the Lord; for where the peril is greater, there also is greater aid from Him who chooses to be called the Helper in dangers and tribulations.----St. Ambrose

St. Ignatius Loyola was once on board a ship in a severe storm when the mast was broken off and all were weeping and trembling in expectation of death. He alone was cheerful and fearless, remembering that the winds and sea obey God and that without His permission, tempests rise not, neither can they sink any ship, and choosing for himself whatever fate God might choose for him.

St. Vincent, King of Bohemia, was asked how he felt when his army had been routed and he himself had been taken prisoner. He replied: "I never felt more encouraged than I do now. When I was well provided with human aids, I had not time to think of God. Now that I am quite destitute of them all, I think only of God, and that He will not abandon me." 

Though one should fall into many and grievous sins and imperfections, he ought never to despair of his salvation nor lose confidence in God, for the Divine clemency is infinitely greater than human malice.----St. John Chrysostom

When St. Bernard was severely ill, he had a rapture in which he seemed to be led to judgment and there tempted to despair by the devil, to whom he gave this answer: "I confess that I do not deserve Paradise for my works, for I know that I am unworthy of so great a good. Nevertheless, my Lord has two claims to it----one, that He is the Son of God, the other, that He died upon the Cross. The first is sufficient for Him, and the other He gives to me. For this reason I have hope."

What could be more desperate than the situation of Susanna, accused, condemned and led out to death? Yet she trusted in the Lord and was set free.

The venerable Father Daponte said of himself that those things that frequently furnish a motive for dejection, such as human frailty, or one's own weakness and sins, rather produced in him a greater confidence, for he fixed his eyes upon the goodness and mercy of God, to Whom he had entirely committed himself and his interests.

St. Teresa once said: "I am very sure that there is no safety in relying upon men; for they are all like so many stalks of dried rosemary----they break under the least weight of disappointment or contradiction. The true friend in whom alone we can trust is Jesus Christ. When I rely upon Him, I am conscious of such power that I feel able to resist the whole world, were it opposed to me."

The Lord once appeared to St. Gertrude and said to her: "When anyone has complete confidence in Me and believes that I have the power, the wisdom, and the desire to aid him on all occasions, this ravishes My heart, and does Me such violence that I cannot help favoring such a soul, on account of the pleasure I experience in seeing it so dependent upon Me, and to satisfy the great love I bear to it." 

St. Hugo, the Bishop, said that it was his experience that the more he attended to performing well and diligently all that pertained to the worship of God, the more God provided for him in all necessary things. 

When this Saint Vincent de Paul was once told by his house-steward that he had not a sou for daily expenses without considering the special ones for approaching ordinations, he replied with a tranquil heart and cheerful face, full of confidence in God: "What good news! Blessed be God! Now is the time to show whether we trust in Him. Oh, how infinite are the treasures of Divine Providence, which we dishonor by our want of trust!"  


It should be observed that perfect love of God consists not in those delights, tears, and sentiments of devotion that we generally seek, but in a strong determination and keen desire to please God in all things, and to take care, as far as possible, not to offend Him, and to promote His glory.----St. Teresa

The love of God is acquired by resolving to labor and suffer for Him, and to abstain from all that displeases Him, and by carrying this resolution into practice as occasion arises. But to be able to do it well in great things, it is necessary to attend to it in small.----St. Teresa 

St. John of the Cross proved how firmly he was persuaded of this. When Jesus Christ appeared to him one day and asked him what reward he desired for the many trials and labors he had borne for love of Him, "No other, O Lord," he replied, "but to suffer and be despised."  

God loves our neighbors so much that He gave His life for them; and He is glad even to have us leave Him to do them good. How grateful to Him, then, may we believe the services we render them! Ah, if we understood well how important is this virtue of the love of our neighbor, we should give ourselves entirely to the pursuit of it.----St. Teresa 

St. Teresa was accustomed to redouble her charity towards those who offended her. St. Francis Borgia used to call those who brought upon him any mortification or trial his assistants and friends.


Viki said...

Faith, hope and charity are certainly something to aspire to.

Amanda said...

I really enjoyed reading this post! Thank you for sharing it, and good luck in your homeschooling adventures.

jeff campbell said...

Such a lovely post...I'm with ya on the three virtues...very nice...Peace and blessings

mrsnesbitt said...

What age are your children? I have done 25 years as a primary school teacher - love teaching 7 - 10 year olds.

ABC Team

mbkatc230 said...

I so loved this post, what a lovely way to start my morning. Kathy

Jenny said...

What a thoughtful link on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter "V"!

It seems that aspiring to virtue is not always something we hear about today...I'm glad to hear that these are values you are passing along to your family!

Thank you for linking up!


Barbara A. Schoeneberger said...

I really liked this post, especially St. John of the Cross saying that the reward he wanted was to suffer and be despised. I hope God will give me the grace to say the same thing to Him. Not quite there yet by a long shot!


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