Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Growing in Virtue

The purpose of my blog was/is to keep some sort of record of day-to-day life with my children. I set this up as my specific goal because I was a little intimidated by the countless other blogs out there. So many are funny, witty, intelligent, inspirational, etc. I knew if I tried to do anymore than keep a "journal" of life here, the results would pale to what is out there in the blogosphere. My main goal is to have a sort of scrapbook that someday my kids might enjoy reading. I am not a crafty person, so you won't find any other scrapbooks in this house.

However this is an article by Mark Shea I read yesterday and really enjoyed. While it is not really a story about my girls, I still thought it was blog worthy.

http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4601&Itemid=48

Here is a little excerpt:

The moment we go from framing the question in terms of trying to bargain our way out of damnation and instead put it in terms of seeking virtue, all the fog disappears. We no longer have to wonder just how close we can tiptoe up to adultery without committing it. We don't have to endure puzzlement about how near to hypothermia we can push our victim without it being torture. We don't have to microscopically parse the question, "How near to personhood should our victim be before it's wrong to burn him alive or tear him apart in his mother's womb?"

When you are working to be virtuous and not merely trying to get away with something, you don't do that kind of thing. The discussion begins on a different footing. You ask things like, "How can I love, honor, and cherish my wife and avoid the near occasion of sin?" You seek to interrogate prisoners in a framework of humane treatment and discover that people more readily divulge accurate information to people they trust than to people they hate and fear. You seek to care for women and their children without making it a kill-or-be-killed scenario.

You trust, in short, that Jesus knows what He's talking about when He tells us, "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you as well."



It reminded me to take this approach as a mother. I may not have email conversations with Bill Clinton, but everyday I deal with little ones who are trying to "bargain their way out of damnation."I am daily bombarded with some little one giving me some excuse for pinching, poor schoolwork, or the mess in their room. I also am confronted with difficult questions like: "She gets to have 6 jellybeans, why do I only get 5 and a half?" There are also those impossible situations of one child teasing and the other finally having enough of the taunting, says something terribly hurtful.

In these situations, I need to not split hairs about blame, but rather encourage growth in virtue. Instead of sorting through who did what and how that fits on the scale of wrondoings, I need to remind my dear children we are called to kindness and sacrifice.

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