Prayer and fasting, worship and adoration, Scripture and sacraments and sacramentals all provide the weapons of our spiritual warfare. With them we go on the offensive against the Evil One. But the virtues provide our defense armor ... They are our best defense against his attacks, for they guard our minds and hearts from his deceptions and temptations. -Paul Thigpin, Manual for Spiritual WarfareAs parents, we instinctively prepare our children for every kind of weather, coach them on the right attitude on the field and off, all in order to keep them physically and emotionally safe. Yet are we talking to our children about their spiritual journey with the same level of preparedness? Let's face it, their minds and hearts are just as vulnerable and less visible to the eye. And still each day they encounter innumerable decisions and temptations that propose a different or altered course for their lives. These may come as an outright affront or more often as subtleties, small moral choices that go unnoticed. That is, until they don't or they lead to a bigger decision in life. Do I watch this video ... and if I did, do I tell my parents? Do I join my friends in doing something I feel is wrong? While we can never protect them from every danger, we can give them the tools to help guard their soul, with virtue.
- Fortitude (Courage) is the virtue that strengthens and emboldens when we face challenges and temptations overcoming fear and persecution.
- Justice is the virtue that entails resolute commitment to God and towards the rights and good of all persons.
- Prudence is the virtue of continual discernment of what is ultimately good in our lives and how to achieve it.
- Temperance is moderation of needed things and abstinence from things which are not needed.
- Faith is the virtue through which one comes to believes in God and in what has been revealed as true .
- Hope is the virtue that enables us to long for the kingdom of God and eternal life as our ultimate happiness. Fully aware that we could never achieve it alone but only through the Holy Spirit's assistance.
- Charity (Love) is the virtue by which our love of God is above all, and through which we come to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Copyright 2019 Elizabeth Reardon
About the Author
Elizabeth Reardon is Director of Parish Ministries and Pastoral Associate for the Collaborative Parishes of Resurrection & St. Paul in Hingham, Massachusetts; a wife and mother of three, and writer at TheologyIsAVerb.com. Her writing is an invitation to seek and create space for God in the midst of the busyness of everyday life.