Building Virtues, Following Christ, and Reconciliation – By Fr. John Taberner (PART II)

What is a virtue? A virtue is a firm, good habit. We need the determination to live virtuously. We need faith to learn, and to deal with other people. Hope is a part of our human nature, as a consolation of our faith. We need faith and hope to believe everything He has promised us will come, and to patiently await these promises. You are what you love. This is why we have to fill ourselves with the things we love. Do you love the truth? Joy is a consequence of the good use of our freedom. The danger of a lack of faith is very serious. We need to keep our hearts free to have faith, hope, and charity in Jesus. Many of our hearts are filled with noise, which does not allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in us.
We need fortitude to learn to do things now. We need to be aware of the danger of self-compassion. What we call tiredness could most likely just be laziness. We need to stop complaining and just get things done. Maybe not conquer huge tasks all at once, but focus on being strong with the little or with few things first. It could be helpful to draw up daily timetables or lists of what we need to achieve in a day, starting from getting up at our first alarm, and actually following through.
Temperance is a cardinal virtue which has plenty manifestations. It involves poverty, chastity, and sobriety as virtues. The truth is, we are slaves to many things; we have “little devils” possessing us and separating us from God and achieving our daily tasks. From our phones and the internet to yes, FOOTBALL. We need to learn to put up barriers to prevent these things from taking over our lives. With regards to poverty, the problem isn’t having too many things, it’s the attachment to these things that is the real issue. Sobriety and poverty are the freedom of the heart, making space in our heart and in our lives for God, while denying ourselves of those “little devils.”
We need to know that it’s okay to begin again many times. This is much better than wallowing or getting comfortable in our sin. Looking at the parable of the prodigal son, the father welcomed his son with open arms and even went as far as organizing a feast upon his son’s return. It is a story of God’s endless mercy. However, it is important to know that to an extent, we all have a bit of the prodigal son and his brother in us. We walk away from Jesus every time we sin, and sometimes we look down on others who are distant from God while we try [struggle] to be virtuous by following Him. We need to show love to everyone we meet and be faces and ambassadors of Christ.
Are you loving? Are you fulfilling the will of God? Our vocation is prayer, we have been created to pray. Are you constantly in a state of grace? Let us all try to be consistent with prayer and in our journey of following Christ.
Lord, give me the strength to tell you yes always. To follow you to the end, even when it is tough. Amen.

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