January 12, 2020 | WISDOM

The first of the classic “cardinal virtues” of the faith, wisdom is what the Old Testament writers describe as the basis for understanding God. All good change begins with choices made out of wisdom, which leads to making better choices for your life. How do we learn to be wise? Wisdom comes from the presence of the Lord.

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January 19, 2020 | COURAGE

With wisdom comes the second cardinal virtue, courage. With an internal compass to understand wisdom, we discover an inner conviction, and courage to speak up for what is right in the face of opposition. This Psalm is a perfect example of courage, being able to face the difficulties in life with faith and bravery. However, the source of all of the bravery the writer shares is God; God is our protector, our shield, our stronghold. We become cowardly when we depend on ourselves for courage: we lose faith and falter. We become rash in the same sense when we depend on ourselves for courage: we fool ourselves into thinking we are not in need of God’s grace, and that it is our own strength that empowers us to be brave.

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January 26, 2020 | JUSTICE

The cardinal virtues of the faith build on one another: with wisdom, we find courage, and with courage we learn justice, which is what happens when we take a stand for the least and the lost among us. In order to do this, we must recognize not only what can/should be done but recognize the unique ways in the world that we have the ability to make an impact. Pharaoh’s daughter was able to rescue Moses because she had both the courage to act out justice, but also had the authority to do so. She could have overtly cared only for herself or turned a blind eye and said there’s nothing I can do. Instead she chose to act.

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February 2, 2020 | TEMPERANCE

Fasting is a crucial part of our faith journey. We actively choose not to participate in certain things during our lives in order to connect with Christ in his suffering, but also to realize our identities are not centered in worldly things. However, God put us on this earth to enjoy it. To revel in creation and all the gifts God gives to us is a “right, good and joyful thing.” We must find a balance between these two if we are going to focus on Christ as we enjoy our time on Earth.

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February 9, 2020 | PATIENCE

Job experiences an immense amount of loss in a very short time. During the first part of the book, Job does exactly what is expected of him. He grieves and mourns his losses, but does he truly express his emotions? It seems he doesn’t, because eventually he explodes in anger towards God in a way that isn’t helpful. What would have happened if Job had shown enough patience to grieve and express his frustration, instead of trying to be too passive in the process?

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February 16, 2020 | KINDNESS

Few people would admit that they are cruel, and truthfully, many people in the world that we engage in aren’t cruel (at least not in the overt, nasty sense). There are many that treat others cruelly as a result of the power they hold that others do not. We do however engage with many people who are piteous, which sits on the other side of cruelty. They offer a weak form of interaction with others, but never engage with their heart, trying only to make others feel happy instead of feeling loved. Jesus instructs us that we serve God by serving others. When we judge others in a harmful manner or just try to give a band-aid fix to those around us who are hurting, we are living into our own worst anti-kindness vices. Only by seeing the worth of those around us do we live out the concept of kindness. As Jesus describes it, we serve Christ by loving and serving others.

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February 23, 2020 | HUMILITY

The issue of humility is so difficult in our culture because we are so unwilling to evaluate and accept our own worth. We have a habit of often overestimating our worth, thinking we are greater than we are (at the expense of recognizing the greatness of God), or we underestimate our worth, thinking we are lesser than we are (at the expense of recognizing the person God made). In scripture, we see this play out through the stories of Isaiah and Jesus. Jesus, having all the power of God, did not exploit that to become greater on this Earth. Instead, he was a servant. Isaiah, in his shame, initially tried to evade the call of God. He eventually owned that call and became one of the most well-known prophets in Israel’s history.

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