God wants us to pursue good for His Glory and the good of his Church. He will increase these virtues in our lives if we ask. "Christ's gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of the virtues. Everyone should always ask for this grace of light and strength, frequent the sacraments, cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and follow his calls to love what is good and shun evil" (CCC 1811).
As you use your Intention + Virtue Card you are providing yourself a visual reminder of the Virtue that you're working on and praying for. Just as Sacraments are a visible sign of an invisible reality, this Card is a visible reminder of what you're working on interiorly. Be intentional and God will bless your efforts.
Before we dive in we recommend exploring what a Virtue is, and the many different virtues (provided below) that the Church has defined as worthy of achieving. First, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that a virtue "is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good." Virtues shape us to be the best versions of ourselves, " [a virtue] allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself." Once we begin to live these virtues, they will increase because "the virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses concrete actions" (CCC 1803).
"The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God." - St. Gregory of Nyssa
Here are four different groups of Virtues for you to explore.
Pick what you need for that week or set yourself on a rotation and work your way down the list throughout the year:
The Theological Virtues
The Catechism tells us that God has infused the theological virtues into our souls to make us capable of acting as His children and meriting eternal life. Not a bad deal! But it certainly doesn't hurt to pray for these virtues to increase not only in our lives but also in the world and in the lives of those we encounter.
"So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13
The three Theological Virtues are:
Faith:"Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself." - CCC 1814
Hope: "Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit." - CCC 1817
Charity (Love): "Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God" - CCC 1822
The Cardinal Virtues
The four Cardinal Virtues, mentioned in the scripture under many other names, are the virtues which many other virtues are grouped around.
"To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul and with all one's efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (fortitude). It obeys only [God] (justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (prudence)." - Saint Augustine
The four Cardinal Virtues are:
Prudence: "Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it" - CCC 1806
Justice:"Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor." - CCC 1807
Fortitude:" Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good." - CCC 1808
Temperance:"Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods." - CCC 1809
The 10 Virtues of Mary
This list is comprised by St. Louis Marie DeMonfort in his book, True Devotion to Mary, he takes what we know about Mary from Scripture and compiled these 10 particular Virtues for us to imitate. This may be a great starting point for many, since Mary lived these virtues, I trust that she is very supportive and present to her children who pray to grow in these virtues as well. If you're looking for a little more info check outthisshort blog post from Life Teen (this is also the source of each little definition ).
Ardent Charity:Letting her love for God be the driving force behind every decision
Profound Humility:Knowing who she is before God, nothing more and nothing less
Universal Mortification:Seeking to lay down her life and her will at every moment
Constant Mental Prayer:Always being aware of God's presence
Blind Obedience:Following God's call without counting the cost
Divine Wisdom:Always begging for God's Spirit to guide her
Surpassing Purity: Having a heart immaculately clean and unstained by sin
Angelic Sweetness:Radiating joy and peace to everyone she encountered
Lively Faith: Constantly seeking God's will and never settling for complacency
Heroic Patience:Always trusting that God was on the move; having more faith in His plans than her own
7 Heavenly Virtues [to combat the 7 Deadly Sins]
The list of seven deadly sins was released by Pope Gregory in 590 AD, and soon after, the seven virtues were paired with them. It is in practicing these virtues that we can protect ourselves against temptation from the seven deadly sins. [source] If you find yourself struggling with the effects of one of the Deadly Sins (which are the roots of all types of sin) then make sure you are fervently praying and practicing the Heavenly Virtue!!
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
[Given in The Sacrament of Confirmation]:
wisdom • understanding• counsel• fortitude• knowledge• piety• fear of the Lord
[from Isaiah 11:2]
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit
love • joy• peace• patience• kindness•goodness• faithfulness •gentleness• self-control
[from Galatians 5:22:23]
Don't forget to call upon these gifts and and ask the Holy Spirit to help you put them into use,
and we pray you find the Fruit of the Holy Spirit as a result!
For a free printable quick-glance list for you to print out and work through each week - Click Here