• Michelle

Oh My, Sweet Virtue

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

Hi friends! (insert waving hand emoji)

I just got home from work and sometimes it’s really rough. Everything can be going fine, slow even, and then all of a sudden it blows up out of nowhere and leaves you feeling all sorts of stress. Yikes!

I made a mistake at work today. Not a bad mistake, or one that would even need to be deemed a mistake per say, but I qualify it as a mistake. I qualified it as a mistake because it was something I had to own up to. I made a decision guessing our physician would be okay with before he had actually confirmed it. I thought it was the right thing to do but afterwards had anxiety about it and immediately knew I should have waited and first verified the decision before taking the authority to confirm it myself, even though I didn’t think it was a problem. I had to hold myself accountable and talk to our physician and explain the situation and hope to God that I did the right thing. I work with the greatest physicians on Earth….pediatric specialty doctors rock. He was totally okay with it (phew!!). I thought a lot about accountability after this incident though.

Accountable: subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable.

Sometimes being accountable stinks. It is really hard to own up to a mistake, tell someone you were wrong, or to report to someone you haven’t been doing as well in a particular area as you ought to be or as you promised to be. However, being accountable is respectable. When someone is honest with me and forthcoming, I appreciate that they had the courage to confront the issue and to be real with me, as well as themselves. I think when we hold ourselves accountable, we allow ourselves to grow. It is a virtue we can only obtain through practice.

Virtue. Oh, sweet virtue how I want to cultivate you in my life. This has been on my heart a lot recently. I was talking to Ian one night on the phone and I literally just said, “Sometimes I feel really strongly that I just want to be better.” Kind of an abrupt and seemingly critical statement if you ask me. I think I caught him off guard too because he was silent. I proceeded though by saying, “Better as in more virtuous. I want to be a better woman and grow in virtue. I don’t want to stay where I am at because I think I have a lot of room for growth.”

Grow: to increase; to spring up and develop into maturity

I’m still just a little baby when it comes to my character. I have so much more developing to do to GROW into a mature woman. Growth is one of the seven characteristics of life. As long as I’m living, I hope to still be growing.

We recently started a 33-day consecration to St. Joseph. How we ended up doing this consecration is a story for a different time. However, we felt it was the Holy Spirit and we felt called to begin this prayer journey of consecration to St. Joseph. If you are interested here is the consecration we are doing:

What I have found humorous thus far is the fact that it has talked about how devotion to St. Joseph is one of the quickest and surest ways to grow in virtue. (LAUGH OUT LOUD). Thank you, Holy Spirit, for plopping this in my lap. St. Joseph wants to be a father figure in our lives and intercede for us. He wants to guide us and teach us how to be filled with virtue, just as he taught Jesus.

Every day we are to pray a litany to St. Joseph. Here is the litany:

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.  God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.  God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.  Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us Saint Joseph, pray for us  Noble Offspring of David, pray for us Light of Patriarchs, pray for us Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us Foster-father of the Son of God, pray for us Zealous Defender of Christ, pray for us Head of the Holy Family, pray for us
Joseph Most Just, pray for us Joseph Most Chaste, pray for us Joseph Most Prudent, pray for us Joseph Most Courageous, pray for us Joseph Most Obedient, pray for us Joseph Most Faithful, pray for us
Mirror of Patience, pray for us Lover of Poverty, pray for us Model of Workman, pray for us Glory of Domestic Life, pray for us Guardian of Virgins, pray for us Pillar of Families, pray for us Comfort of the Afflicted, pray for us
Hope of the Sick, pray for us Patron of the Dying, pray for us Terror of Demons, pray for us Protector of Holy Church, pray for us
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.  Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.  Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. He made him the lord of His household, R. And prince over all his possessions.
Let us pray.  O God, who, in your loving providence, chose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most Holy Mother, grant us the favor of having him for our intercessor in heaven who on earth we venerate as our protector. You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

I have been really struck by how many virtues I am praying for through this litany. Justice, Chastity, Prudence, Strength, Obedience, Faith, Patience, Dedication, and Hope. It has been giving me so much peace. As the father figure in the Holy Family, I trust that St. Joseph also wants to father me spiritually. He wants to intercede for me and pray for my growth in these listed virtues.

I wish I could just wake up tomorrow and miraculously be super infused with perfection in all of these virtues but life doesn’t work like that. I have to work at it. I have to practice virtue in order to obtain it, just like I mentioned earlier about practicing accountability. I have to make the daily decision to choose virtue and say no to vices. I have to persevere and not be lazy or take the easier road. I have to choose to get back up and keep trying when I fall down. I have the freedom to choose. What will I choose? What will you choose?

Together, let’s strive daily to grow in virtue. Pick one virtue to focus on for the day, or for the whole week if you want. Sometimes I think when we try to be all things all at once we get overwhelmed and settle for the path of least resistance. So, take it slow. Slow and steady wins the race. Focus on one virtue at a time and pray about it, look at your life through lenses of reality and see where you are struggling in this virtue but also be kind to yourself and look at areas you are already living out this virtue. In the areas you struggle to practice the particular virtue you are focusing on, find ways to cultivate growth and challenge yourself. It may even help to confide in a trusted friend and ask them for advice or help with this journey- they may even want to embark on it with you. Whatever you do, do it with love. Charity is the greatest of all virtues.

Praying for you all this week! Let’s make it a great one! Peace out ya’ll.

<3 Michelle