The Cardinal Virtues // Temperance

Jesus, You practiced temperance; You were the Model of self-restraint, Never over-indulging in the temporal. My body being the Temple of the Lord, I must treat it with ongoing respect. Self-abuse destroys the body; Be it alcohol, drugs, or excess food. Lord Jesus, bestow fortitude upon me For my soul to control my body, To practice the virtue of temperance. Jesus, You are the source of my vigour. Through You, all is possible! Amen

My child, test yourself while you live; see what is bad for you and do not give in to it. Sirach 37:27

Temperance is probably the virtue that our society, as a whole, struggles with the most. Basically we are taught from a very young age that if you work hard you can get what you want.  But when is the last time you stopped to ask yourself if you should get what you want.  Have you been self examining about the little things in life? When it comes to the major things in life, a new job, a new house, another child, etc.  It's easy to stop and ask for the Lord’s guidance. But that is not where virtue is learned.  

We grow by practicing virtue in the daily grind.  So again I ask, when is the last time you stopped and asked Jesus, “Should I have that fourth cup of coffee? Should I speed through the yellow light?  Should I say that to the customer service representative?  Should I respond to my child in this way, etc?" On the surface it may not seem like these things are important but it's the small things that create the habits we need for the big things. 

When we begin to practice temperance something else happens. We begin to allow the Lord to meet our needs, not our wants, but our real needs. Our world desperately needs the witness of a people that rely on God for everything. Sometimes that means we have to wait on His time, sometimes His answer is no. But rest assured that when we act with Him.  We will not be disappointed. 

Act: Today STOP! Ask Jesus to help you treat every little decision as a lesson in temperance.  

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