Virtue of the Month
The Virtue of the month for Challenge and Conquest in the month of March is Reverence. Reverence is defined as the virtue that inclines a person to show honor and respect for persons who possess some dignity. Reverence comes from the Latin word reverential meaning awe or respect.
There are four forms of reverence, corresponding to four forms of dignity: 1. familial reverence toward one’s parents or those who take the place of parents; 2. civil reverence toward persons holding civil authority; 3. Ecclesiastical reverence toward the Pope, bishops, priests, and others in the service of the Church; 4. Religious reverence toward any person, place, or object related to God.
We will primarily focus on the fourth type of reverence – towards God and the importance of prayer in a person’s life. Prayer is all about getting to know God and letting HIM become a real part of your daily life. It is about talking to Christ, your friend. You can pray anywhere, anytime… about anything. Some places make it easier to pray. Like a chapel or quiet room. The best place to pray is in front of Christ in the Eucharist. If you find it hard to know what to talk to Christ about, you can warm up your heart by saying prayers that the Church and Christ himself taught us. Prayer is turning the heart toward God. When a person prays, he enters into a living relationship with God.
Jesus teaches his apostles and us how to pray. Prayer is very simple – as easy as knocking on a door. Back then praying was not the same as we pray now. Most people in that area were Jewish or pagans (Romans, Egyptians, etc). Jewish people prayed differently than we do. They prayed in the temple or synagogues (kind of like a parish or local temple). So Jesus was telling his apostles to understand that above anything else prayer is about a personal friendship and relationship with God where you speak with him in your heart. Jesus had a personal relationship with his Father that moved him to talk to him at all times and dedicate time to pray on his own. Jesus wants us to feel confident enough to knock on God’s door no matter what time and trust that he will give what we are looking for. Jesus refers to a good father who wants to give good things to his children. Jesus is saying that God our Father is perfect and good and loving and when we ask we have to have the confidence that he will give it to us. This does not mean God gives us everything we want, it means that God will give us everything that we need and is good for us.
St Therese of Lisieux’s Prayer for Strength
St Therese of Lisieux’s calls upon the Holy Spirit to gives us the strength to pray:
“O My God! I ask of you for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly your holy will, to accept for love of you the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all eternity. Amen.”
The Catechism number of the month is all about reverence to God through prayer. It is number 2697 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“Prayer is the life of the new heart. It ought to animate us at every moment. But we tend to forget him who is our life and our all. We must remember God more often than we draw breath. But we cannot pray at all times if we do not pray at specific times, consciously willing it. These are the special times of Christian prayer, both in intensity and duration.”