A Virtuous Life

Kindness. 

Compassion. 

Humility. 

Patience. 

Unconditional love. 

 

These are the virtues which I want to exercise fully, every day of my life. 

 

People often remark about my kindness towards others, but here’s the thing. I do not want to simply act kindly towards others or merely do kind things for others. I want honest, genuine kindness to be intermingled with every fiber of my being. I want to be kind. I do not want to consciously think about doing a good deed for another. I want it to be in my nature. 

God, please grant me the grace to be kind. 

 

It is all too easy for me to scowl at the man who cuts me off in traffic, or to roll my eyes at my mother when she makes a lame joke, or to blow of my fellow Christian brothers’ and sisters’ outlooks on things. I do not want to be that way. I do not want those reactions to be first nature. I want it to pain me when I am being anything less than understanding.

Maybe that man in traffic had a horrible day at work and just wanted to get home to see his family. Maybe my mother just wants to make me laugh as hard as I did when I was a child, when she’d make a silly face or use a goofy voice. Maybe my Protestant brothers and sisters are as in love with their faith as I am with mine, and they just want me to understand their beliefs. I want to understand everyone. I do not want to be quick to judge. Understanding does not necessarily mean agreeing with or commending one’s actions nor insights, but it does warrant compassion. 

God, please grant me the grace to be compassionate. 

 

The world does not revolve around me. I know that, but human nature makes it all too easy to forget. When things do not go my way, I often wallow in the misery of my misfortune and harden my heart. When I spend all my time focusing on myself, I have no room to focus on Christ.

I want to make room for Christ. 

Better yet, I want to give Christ all the room! Every place in my mind, each spot in my heart, every ounce of my whole being–I want it to be Yours, Lord. After all, it is not about me. It is all about Jesus! 

God, please grant me the grace to be humble. 

 

Tick tock. 

Tick tock. 

Tick tock. 

Time. Hours. Minutes. 

Seconds. 

Moments. 

Tick tock. 

I have very little patience. Time is something which can set me over the edge. Things which cannot or will not be accomplished in a short amount of time make me frustrated. I’m getting impatient with myself right now as I struggle to find something to say. 

Tick tock. 

Enough. 

I am not the master of time, nor is time the master of me. The Lord is master of all, and His timing is perfect. I want to trust in Him more. 

God, please grant me the grace to be patient. 

 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16 

If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. 

We are sinners. We fall down. We make mistakes. We fail to be the perfect people God created us to be. What causes this? I think it’s fear. 

And inconsiderateness. 

And close-mindedness. 

And pride. 

And impatience. 

And “loving” with a personal agenda. 

These thoughts used to depress me, but now I feel inspired. I want to be the person God created me to be. I want to strive to be perfect, just as my Heavenly Father is perfect. I will continue to fall down. I will continue to make mistakes. However, I know that God’s everlasting and unconditional love will lift me up. God will offer me His guiding hand, and I will gladly embrace it. 

I want to love others the way the Lord loves us. 

God, grant me the grace to love unconditionally, just as you love us unconditionally. 

 

Please grant me the grace to live a life which honors and glorifies You. 

Amen. 

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Lenten Reflections

What are you giving up for Lent? 

Those seven words have brought me many mixed emotions growing up. Being raised Catholic, Lent has been a regularly celebrated season in my household. I always thought I understood exactly what it was. We pick something to give up for the 40 week days in between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday and we suffer through it. Right?

WRONG. So wrong.

What Lent is NOT About

Lent is not about cutting things out of our lives completely for five and a half weeks and feeling miserable about it the entire time. It’s not about trying to prove to ourselves that we have self-control. It’s not about trying to impress God with our awesome ability to sacrifice material things.

It’s not about us. 

Lent is about Him.

The reason we give things up for Lent is to humble ourselves before Christ. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us–He died on the cross for our sins so that we could be redeemed. Nothing can ever exceed that.

We make sacrifices each Lent to honor Him and glorify His most perfect, sacrificial love for us. Our small sacrifices–whether it be giving up our smart phones, cutting sweets out of our diets, unplugging our televisions, etc–are all ways in which we can draw closer to Christ.

Lent is a time of preparation. It is a solemn season, yes, but it is by no means depressing. Our sacrifices should be made with joyful hearts because they are our stepping stones toward Christ.

“If Lent was just about giving up stuff then I wouldn’t find any grace. . .

But because Lent is about life with Jesus Christ, these crosses, these small inconveniences or struggles help me grow in virtue and holiness. They help me become a whole person. They make me come alive.”

Ryan Miller, LifeTeen author

Are you ready to come alive with Christ this Lent?