Saint Mary Joseph Rossello, a devout Italian Religious Sister and a skilled teacher who lived in the 19th Century, once wrote, “Good example is the most efficacious apostolate. You must be as lighted lanterns and shine like brilliant chandeliers among men. By your good example and your words, animate others to know and love God.”
But how do we live lives that are pleasing to God and inspiring to the people around us? As Christians, we believe that listening to the Word of God, following the teachings of Jesus and praying are keys to living our faith in a holy, honorable way that attests to the glory of God. Receiving the Holy Eucharist and learning to recognize and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit are other important ways that we can nurture our faith and live inspirational lives.
And there are additional, less obvious things that we can do to help our lights to shine as well. One of them is to become aware of and meditate on the three theological virtues and the four cardinal virtues. While the theological virtues consist of faith, hope and charity (love), the four cardinal virtues include prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.
Although it’s certainly good to be aware of sinful behaviors and desires that we should strive to avoid, it’s also important to know what virtues can help us along our paths to become better Christians. Here are seven reflections on these virtues. If we embrace them, we increase our chances of fulfilling the urging of Jesus to let our light shine.