“Virtue can not take root without the help of temptation…Faith hope, charity, chastity and patience and every virtue must be tried. Otherwise there would be no virtue.” Fr. Peter Semenenko
What is virtue and how is it acquired? Virtue is a habit that is in all ways directed to do good. It is manifested by our free will acting in a very deliberate way to give the very best of ourselves. St. Gregory of Nyssa says that, “The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.”
We are creatures of habit and God promises that if we live virtuous lives we will be happy. Is this easy? No, it is not easy at all. We all know temptation, up close and personal. We may have a temptation, for example, to practice or have as a habit the cardinal sin of envy. We may resent or feel sadness for our neighbor’s good fortune and desire to have that good fortune for ourselves and watch to find any possible flaw in that person, magnify it; then gossip about it. This is envy’s tired old game. In the past we have handled temptation ourselves, saying, “I can resist this or that, or I have the willpower to beat this.”
We must remember that there are no efforts of our own will that can end our temptations, only God can. God helps us by means of His Holy Spirit and if we direct our thoughts to goodness and persevere in these virtues, they become purified and elevated by God.
C.S. Lewis once said on this subject, “Our morning prayer should be, “Grant me to make an unflawed beginning today, for I have done nothing yet.” Temptations may be a challenge but we can wake up each morning and resist by asking God for help.
Making this a habit will help us to break the bad ways and flaws in our lives that we keep hidden and do not share with God. Failures in regard to these heartfelt changes are forgiven, for Christ’s gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of the virtues by means of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Please join us for Adoration every Friday until 3pm and every Saturday morning from 8am-9am in the Chapel.