Thursday, March 30, 2006

Growing in Virtue

St. John Chrysostom urges us to struggle in our interior life like little children at school. First, says the saint, they learn the shape of the letters. Then they begin to distinguish the strokes; and thus, step by step, they learn to read. If we divide up the virtues into different parts, we can learn first, for example, not to speak badly of people. Then, passing to another letter, we can learn not to envy anybody: we can learn never under any circumstances to be a slave to the body: we can learn not to give way to gluttony. Passing on from there to the spiritual letters, we shall study continence, mortification of the senses, chastity, justice, and scorn for vainglory. We should try to be modest and of contrite heart. Let us link virtues together and write them on our souls. We have to do all this in our own home, with our friends, with our wives, with our children.

What is important is that we should make a definite and loving decision to strive after virtue in our everyday affairs. The more we practice performing these good acts, the easier we will find them to do next time. In this way we will identify ourselves more and more with Christ.

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