Back to Virtue about our need to return to lives of virtue. He speaks of the cardinal virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, and moderation, and the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. He weaves these virtues around a discussion of the beatitudes (blessed are the peacemakers…). I wonder about what happened to these virtues? I have atheist friends who are nice people. You probably do as well. They wouldn’t kill or steal. They would probably measure up well to the Ten Commandments. But I reflect on them with sadness for their perspective is limited in that they are in this life by themselves. They live by self-chosen standards, and their view is that when they die, that is all. Game over. This life is all they have. I have a friend who is a nice person, but he wants almost desperately to have important memorable experiences. He has to fill his time with things and events. I guess that is well and good. But I do things hopefully with a greater purpose in mind. I try to make God my standard, coming from his revelation in scripture, the words and actions of his son, Jesus, and his spirit which motivates me.
The attitude of Job is important here. In this life, when difficulty hits, when pain and sorrow are present, belief in God is an asset and a consolation. I can rely on God’s truths. I try to live in him, through him, and with him. I believe that God is love, true love, ever growing and other centered. So I want to be virtuous, because those are qualities that have been handed down over the ages. They are not easy and fly in the face of our culture. I am not in it to get a reward or to feel good but to try to please God and to live up to his standards.
“Often in the course of the day, ask for the light of the Holy Spirit.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars