Today at St. Peter’s
Tuesday, September 27
8:30am Mass – Fr. Jerome
7pm Mass – Fr. Jonathan
8am – Rosary
6:15pm – Confessions
7:30pm – Bible Study
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The Parochial Vicar’s Perspective
In last week’s perspective I mentioned that St. Peter’s exists to be a community of saints in formation. This week I want to answer the question: How do we grow in sanctity? The answer: “By cultivating a life of virtue”.
The meaning of “virtue” is a very simple concept to define. As vice is a bad habit, so virtue is a good habit. “A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good” (CCC 1803). Virtues and vices form a person’s “character”.
Without personal virtue, we will do good only sporadically. The main source of a good and happy life—for the human race, for each nation and community, and for each family—is the personal virtue of each individual. No system or set of laws, however perfect, can work for good without virtuous individuals. A Chinese parable says: “When the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong way.” Bad bricks, however well arranged, do not make a good building. Nothing can improve the world more than saints.
Remember that virtues are forever. They are “marks on the soul”, deeper and more permanent than any external deeds, for souls are immortal. Virtues improve not just what you do but what you are. And every lover knows that the object of love is not just deeds but persons. Your boss may care more about what you do (your work) than about what you are (your character), but the opposite is true for those who love you. And God is not our boss but our loving Father.
“Why should I be good?” is a simple question and profound and requires a simple and profound answer. Personal virtue is the key to improving the world, finding happiness, and helping other people to be good and happy, too; yet the ultimate end of virtue is even greater than these great goals: “ ‘The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God’ (CCC 1803).
May we together long to grow in living virtuously as we take to heart Jesus’ words: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”. In my next perspective I will unpack this saying of Jesus.