Growing in Virtue: The First Step

Growing in Virtue: The First Step

Most of us did not grow up with specific training in the virtues. We learned the alphabet and multiplication tables. When we were older, we were exposed to more complex science, literature, and history. Many of us went off to university, where we learned a lot of...
Virtue and the Freedom to Love

Virtue and the Freedom to Love

When speaking at marriage retreats, I like asking the married couples two questions: “How many of you value your spouse?” At this, all of them raise their hands. Then I ask a second question: “How many of you do things that hurt your spouse?” Most laugh, and then all...
The Art of Living

The Art of Living

Joseph Ratzinger, the man who became Pope Benedict XVI, once said that in our secular, de- Christianized culture, the problem is not simply that the world has lost the gospel. We have lost the most basic human values as well. We have lost what he calls “the art of...
Temperance and Self-Possession

Temperance and Self-Possession

The virtue of temperance sometimes gets a bad reputation. As the virtue that “moderates the attraction of pleasures” (Catechism of the Catholic Church: Second Edition, no. 1809), many people today object to such a notion: “What’s wrong with seeking...
Patience and Perseverance

Patience and Perseverance

How do you respond when “bad things” happen to you? When you experience disappointment or setbacks? When you are hurt by something someone said? When experiencing sorrow, we might be tempted to close in on ourselves. We might allow negative emotions to...