a virtuous life...

I wanted things to be different this year. I wanted my family to feel more peace and joy both together and apart. I wanted to focus on the things that matter most in life, faith and family. I made resolutions, accepted the winds of change, and even ran with my hair on fire to seek sanctuary in the heart of My Beloved trying to figure it all out.

Last Sunday was the Feast of the Epiphany. My friend Anne had talked about this fabulous idea of choosing a virtue for each person in the family and praying for them to increase in that virtue over the course of the New Year. This was their gift to the Christ Child on the Feast of the Epiphany. She chose a saint to go with each virtue so that there would be divine help when things got difficult. Oh, I love calling upon that great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us.

The idea sounded so wonderful to me. I wanted our family to do something similar that would really help each of us, individually. So, we were chatting on the way to church and I brought up this idea to my guys to feel them out. I thought I might have to twist arms and possibly bribe them but they surprised me. Both Jerry and Jonathan loved the idea! Well maybe loved is a little over the top but at least they were willing to listen.

The conversation was pretty interesting to say the least. We arrived at church and decided that we would place this request before Our Lord and see how we felt on the way home. Well, God had a little something to say about this proposed project.

During that Mass, God worked on each of us in His own way and by the time we got back in the car to return home we had decided what to do. We chose a virtue together for each of us. It was actually very quick and right on the money:

Jonathan ~ prudence w/ St Peter the Apostle as his spiritual partner.
Jerry ~ charity w/ St. Vincent de Paul as his spiritual partner.
Courtney ~ hope w/ Bl. John Paul the Great as her spiritual partner
Mary ~...wait for it...TEMPERANCE w/ St. Therese of Lisieux as my spiritual partner


From About.com:
"St. Thomas Aquinas ranked temperance as the fourth of the cardinal virtues, because it serves prudence, justice, and fortitude. The moderation of our own desires is essential to acting rightly (prudence), giving each man his due (justice), and standing strong in the face of adversity (fortitude). Temperance is that virtue which attempts to overcome the human condition that "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Mark 14:38)."

Not cool, Holy Spirit! Not cool at all! I was thrilled with the choices made for the other three members of my family but mine?? Not happy at all! This is so freaking HARD for me! All I kept thinking was "Be careful what you pray for Mary. God is listening you silly, silly, girl" Well duh! Should have known. Oh yeah baby, I can hear the laughter in heaven all the way down here!

Temperance...sheesh. This is the cardinal virtue that answers PRIDE, one of the seven deadly sins. It is ALL about self-control, self-denial, walking away from unhealthy portions of chocolate, saying no to that glossy magazine at the checkout and apparently I am no longer allowed to throw a temper tantrum. Oh yeah, this is going to be a breeze. NOT! Hmmm what is my family trying to say to me??? Subtle guys, really subtle!

"Our lives are meant to be listened to,because it is God who is speaking into and out of and through the symphony of the years,and the masterpiece of a lifetime."
~Michael Card

I saw the above quote on another blog awhile ago. I wrote it down and have had it with me since. I cannot for the life of me remember where it was, so whoever you are thank you because it really spoke to me. My life is a masterpiece and thankfully, it is not painted all in one day. It takes time, patience and lots of hard work and you know how I feel about working out! This is a spiritual workout and it will be like nothing i have done before. Talk about challenging...

I want to do my best for my God and King. I want to love my family like nobody else can. I want to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. I want to serve and help. I know that I have to work on my interior life in order to make these things possible. So much work it will take a lifetime!

So TEMPERANCE it is! Thank goodness I have my home girl Therese for some support because I am going to need it. Every single day!

What virtue do you need to work on this year? Leave a comment so we can support each other in prayer.

Blessings and Grace,