St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Everyday Life: Social Virtues

When I first came upon this heading in my In Conversation with God meditation, I was intrigued. What would Fr. Francis Fernandez who authored this series have to say about this topic? The first sub-section under this heading read: Jesus cultivated the social virtues. Then Father goes on utilizing the Gospel of that day regarding the ten lepers [Luke 17: 11-10] As the reading goes, only one leper returned to express his gratitude to Our Lord who had just healed the ten. Later on in the meditation, we learn more fully about gratitude and what an important social virtue it is. (More on that one later).

Interestingly, the next paragraph goes on to say: "Jesus was in no way indifferent to the practice of the social virtues. The social virtues are a means by which people demonstrate their respect for one another. They are thus a manifestation of interior refinement." (and then later): "Throughout the course of his life and preaching, Jesus taught us the real importance of friendship, cordiality, temperance, love for the truth, understanding, loyalty, industriousness, sincerity.....He emphasized the value of the human virtues by the use of examples and parables from everyday life."

Ah...everyday life, the perfect environment for practicing and perfecting these virtues. Of course.

"The social virtues make daily life more pleasant." and "Charity ennobles and elevates these actions to a higher plane."


Daily life could indeed be made more pleasant. As a stay at home, homeschooling mother who wears several hats of management daily, each day of the week...twenty-four hours a day (!), I would say "pleasant" is a good word to focus on. The refinement and naturalness of imparting the virtues of patience, understanding, good-humor....are essential to pleasantness in the daily round. It takes work at one's interior life and disposition to be pleasant in what challenging situations may occur. Where to start? Certainly with a deepened and more committed prayer life, and of course, a smile :) Both, can make all the difference.

More in another post.

God bless!


Short update: A great article to read while delving into the social virtues has appeared at Catholic Analysis, titled: Agape Does Not Insist. Just follow the LINK.

4 comments:

Esther said...

Mahalo Denise. The other day I was racking my brains trying to think of the author of this book. I wanted to tell my friend about it because I believe this book is often confused by the other one with a similar title Conversations with God (recently made into a movie).
God bless,

Denise said...

Hi Esther,
Fr. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal is the author of the In Conversation with God volumes (there are 7 volumes that follow the liturgical year - daily readings and weekend cycle also. What a brilliant endeavor on his part! Father is a priest of the Opus Dei prelature. He utilizes and pulls from, by quoting and exhorting on the scriptures, encyclicals, saints, popes, doctors, early church Fathers... I am SO thankful to have had this recommended for my spiritual nourishment.

Blessings,
Denise

Esther said...

Thanks again Denise. I have forwarded your link to my friend Lois. BTW, are you an Opus Dei member? My mom wants to join.

Denise said...

Hi Esther,
No, I'm not OpD, but I should be! :) I'm not in close vicinity of any of the centers, etc., and even the women's evenings of reflection are quite a drive away for me (Akron); which I don't do well with night driving. Still, I've gotten so much from St. Escriva's writings and Fr. Fernandez's writings as well.

Maybe someday....

Blessings,
Denise