I believe the main problem with our society is the lack of virtue. There is so much anger, disrespect and lawlessness that people can’t seem to comprehend and choose to do what is right. I was not surprised with the news our Pilates instructor shared with us. She said that while she was sitting in her car finishing a telephone conversation, she witnessed several masked young girls running out of TJ Maxx. The girls arms were loaded with handbags. She watched as they got into the getaway car and fled the scene. Will they get caught? Will they be punished for the crime? Probably not! Our society has become complacent to these heinous acts. We all need a refresher course on the seven virtues.
Prudence — The ability to find the good in every situation and to choose the right means of achieving it.
Can we find it in our hearts to find the good in every situation? I struggle with this a little because I’m not at the level of faith that I should be. I watch the news with disappointment because journalism has become a business that destroys the characters of others. Even the conservative news is out for the almighty dollar. Is it necessary to put others down to get your point across? There is one thing I hold on to, and that is the Word of God.
God will expose all lies, and as much as we want it to happen instantaneously, it’s always in His time. Are our news, and social media seeking to achieve the good in every situation? No, because they are more concerned about offending others than make themselves appear to come across as insensitive and biased. This is why those criminals who continue to smash and grab expensive items will get away with their crimes. There is no justice for the shop owners, employees, or customers. My friend was in complete shock when she witnessed this crime. She said she froze in disbelief. I would have reacted the same way.
Justice — The constant and firm desire to give what is due to God and neighbor.*
We all want justice; we want those girls to be caught and punished for their crime. There is nothing more displeasing to God than sin. These young girls were trained to do evil. Their arrogant disregard for the law and rights of others will give them the audacity to do this again. When you don’t get caught, you believe that you have gotten away with it. God created these girls and He knows their hearts. These foolish and brazen acts will only get worse. There were several girls, maybe seven. They will get caught in their own tangled web because they are immature and will brag about their crime to others.
Fortitude — The demonstration of strength in difficulties and temptations; the ability to overcome fear and other obstacles in one’s moral life.*
We know what to do when we hear someone boasting about their crime. Some brave soul will have the fortitude to come forward and say something to the authorities. When we know that it is morally wrong we need to expose the truth. Fear is always what keeps us from telling the truth. We fear for the person or persons, we fear backlash or retaliation. Once the truth is spoken, we are set free. The beautiful thing about truth is that it never changes. Lies, on the other hand, take many turns.
Temperance — Balance in the use of created goods, using pleasure in moderation, and seeking that which is good.*
We should all seek what is good. Self-control is arduous for all of us who have been holding back our words when we are offended. We live in a country where the lines of division have clearly been drawn. If you cross over to the other side, you are fair game. So the best advice is to keep your thoughts to yourself or speak to a friend who shares your beliefs. This problem in our country is not going away any time soon. I pray everyday for our country to reach a consensus of faith and to get us out of this dilemma.
Faith — The virtue by which one believes in God and believes that all He has said and revealed is true.*
Though faith is not tangible, we still press on to find God’s beauty in all of this immoral chaos. God restores us with His love, and by placing our trust in Him we can seek shelter from all that is thrown our way. We know to prepare for storms because of the forecast. Our spiritual storms hit us hard but we get up again. We know Who’s keeping us going. We know because our faith is a witness to all of our victories. It’s in the midst of the storm that we cannot see Him, but we trust that God is with us. When we remain faithful, we can endure any storm. Remember God only gives us what we can handle.
Charity — Love for God above all else for His own sake and love for one’s neighbor as oneself for the love of God.*
We cannot exist without love. Love comes from our Maker, He created us to love. Every person on earth has the desire to be loved. Love keeps us whole and without it we are lost. Many of the homeless people whom I have encountered did not feel loved. I always reminded them that God is their loving Father and that He has a plan for their lives. We serve a wonderful God who instills in all of us His Holy Spirit. I welcome Him in my heart because when I am downcast, He lifts me up. I feel His Holy Presence each moment of my life.
Dear Lord, thank You for all these beautiful virtues. I pray that we all draw closer to You in understanding Your great love for us. Lord, I pray for all those who are involved in the smash and grab, along with all other crimes. Lord, convict them of their sin and may justice be served.
I continue to pray for Carla, Anna, Allie, Mario and Kathy. Heal them, Lord. Amen.