Virtue Resources for Parents
In the spirit of the Catholic tradition, at St. Michael School our mission is to empower all students to be Christ-centered, independent learners for their whole lives. An essential part of this mission is the formation of our students in the Catholic faith. When students are able to recognize the inherent dignity of the human person and their baptismal call to love and serve God and one another, they will be prepared to “go forth and make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19).
It is our intention to form our students in the virtues necessary to live as Christians in the 21st century. Through the Remain in Me virtue program, students will participate in a variety of faith- and community-forming activities including:
- Monthly in-class lessons on the living of the virtues
- Daily all-school reflections on the virtues
- Family Days, where students from all grades celebrate the virtues together
- Frequent examination of the lives of the saints as models of virtuous living
Below is a quick guide for how you can talk to your children about the 3 theological and 4 cardinal virtues.
FAITH is the theological virtue which enables one to know God and all that He has revealed.
- Faith reminds us that God is the center of our lives, and we should always make time for talking to Him in our day
- Faith gives us the courage to share our Catholic faith with others, even if this means just making the Sign of the Cross in public
- Faith encourages us to grow in our love of God by going to Mass every Sunday, by reading the Bible together, by praying the Rosary as a family, etc.
HOPE is the theological virtue which enables one to desire God above all things and to trust in Him for one’s salvation.
- By hope we should pray for those we know who have passed from this life
- By hope we can work to always put God first in our lives through prayer and study
- We should examine our consciences every night before we go to bed to see how we can better prepare our hearts for heaven
CHARITY is the theological virtue which enables one to love as God Himself loves. By the virtue of charity, we love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves.
- Charity helps us to think of others before ourselves and to try to show them God’s love
- In charity we can help different organizations by sharing our time and talents
- We should talk as a family about how we can show our love for God more and more
PRUDENCE is the cardinal virtue which enables one to act rightly in any given situation.
- Prudence helps us to think before we act, to listen to others and follow directions
- Prudence teaches us to pray before making decisions
JUSTICE is the cardinal virtue which enables one to give to each what is due to him, beginning with God.
- Justice means that we always give our time to God first, making time for prayer and quiet with Him
- In justice we treat one another kindly, we are respectful of others, and we are polite
- We are honest and responsible for our homework, our chores, and other responsibilities
FORTITUDE is the cardinal virtue which enables one to endure difficulties and pains for the sake of what is good.
- With fortitude we strive generously to use the gifts God has given us to help others
- We work hard in our prayer life, in our school work and at home, even when it is difficult, knowing that this is pleasing to God
TEMPERANCE is the cardinal virtue which enables one to be moderate in the pleasure and use of created goods.
- Temperance leads us to see the good in others before we look at their weaknesses
- Temperance helps us to let others go first, to let others have the last dessert, to clean up after ourselves, to hold back from saying unkind things
- Temperance helps us to abstain from foods we enjoy, games we like to play, TV shows we want to watch, etc., in order to grow closer to God
Helpful Links on Virtues:
- http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a7.htm (pertinent articles from the Catechism of the Catholic Church)
- http://www.dioceseoflacrosse.com/ministry_resources/catechesis/ (excellent website!)
- http://www.homeschools.org/theChristianEducator/vol4Issue5/teachingTips.html (readable article that gives a fuller treatment of the cardinal virtues)