Virtue of the Week
Join us in practicing a "Virtue of the Week" for the entirety of the 2021-2022 school year!
Why work on growing in Virtue?
- It strengthens our relationship with God.
- It frees us to know the good and do the good in various situations.
- It enables us to imitate Christ.
- It leads to healthy family relationships and friendships.
- It makes it easy and enjoyable to do what is good.
- It enables us to treat every human being with dignity.
- It leads to deep and lasting HAPPINESS!
My favorite class activity this year was the Virtue of the Week. It was nice to take time to learn how to be more virtuous people. Sister usually gave us a challenge to do at home related to being more virtuous. I took those very seriously and always participated.
- Love (May 9-13)
- Hope (May 2-6)
- Faith (Apr. 25-29)
- Self-Control (Apr. 4-8)
- ORDERLINESS (MAR. 28-APR. 1)
- Eutrapelia (Mar. 21-25)
- Meekness (Mar. 14-18)
- Honesty (Mar. 7-11)
- Humility (Feb. 28-Mar. 4)
- Temperance (Feb. 21-25)
- Magnificence (Feb. 14-18)
- Perseverance (Feb. 7-11)
- Patience (Jan. 31-Feb. 4)
- Magnanimity (Jan. 24-28)
- Industriousness (Jan. 17-21)
- Fortitude (Jan. 10-14)
- Reverence (Dec. 6-10)
- Trustworthiness (Nov. 29-Dec. 3)
- Gratitude (Nov. 15-19)
- Sincerity (Nov. 8-12)
- Generosity (Nov. 1-5)
- Courtesy (Oct. 25-29)
- Obedience (Oct. 18-22)
- Loyalty (Oct. 11-15)
- Kindness (Oct. 6-10)
- Responsibility (Sept. 27-Oct. 1)
- Affability (Sept. 20-24)
- Justice (Sept. 13-17)
- Circumspection (Sept. 6-10)
- Docility (Aug. 30-Sept. 3)
- Foresight (Aug. 23-27)
- Prudence (Aug. 16-20)
Enables one to love as God loves, to love God above all things, and one's neighbor as oneself. Enables one to love God and the world as He loves one.
Love of God
- I ask God to increase my love and my friendship with Him by going to Mass, going to Confession, and spending daily time with God in prayer.
- I treat God as the top priority in my life (in the way I use my time, in the choices I make).
- I make every little daily action into a gift of love to God.
- "Lord, I love You."
- "For You, Jesus." (Bl. Chiara Luce would say this when, due to chemotherapy, clumps of her hair would fall off.)
Love of Oneself
- I treat myself (body and soul) with respect.
- "Thank you, Lord, for my life."
- I do my best to accept the acts of love given to me by others.
Love of Neighbor
- To love is to will the good of the other. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
- I am willing to serve others with joy.
- I am willing to make sacrifices and to deny myself for the sake of others.
- I try to treat all other people the way Jesus Himself would treat them.
- I ask God to help me love those whom I find difficult to love.
- I strive to be present to others and to genuinely invest in their true good.
- As I get closer to God, my love for other people grows.
PRAYER FOR Love
Lord, I love You. Increase my love. Accept everything I do today as a gift of love for You. Teach me how to love myself and to be grateful for the life You have given me. Deepen my desire to give of myself today for the sake of others, especially for those whom I find most difficult to love. Help me to love them as You love them. Amen.
Enables one to desire God above all things and to trust Him for personal salvation.
- When I am going through hard time, I: look at a crucifix or cross to remember how loved I am; choose to remain joyful and patient in the midst of suffering; continue preserving with God's help — trusting that He is with me and leading me.
- I pray, "Lord, thank You for being in control of this situation."
- I recall that this world is not my home; God is preparing a place for me in Heaven.
PRAYER FOR HOPE
Lord God, please increase my hope today. When I am discouraged by my own faults or weighed down by the current circumstances of my life, help me to keep my eyes focused on You and to trust in Your continued love for me. You have promised to be with me, and I know that You will do it. Amen.
Enables one to know God and all that He has revealed. Choosing to believe in God as He reveals Himself.
- I ask God for deeper faith through praying things like: "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24). "Lord, increase my faith." "Lord, I want to be believe but I'm struggling to do so. Please give me a deep uncertainty of Your love for me and of what is true."
- I ask God for a stronger faith in Him and friendship with Him by going to Mass, going to Confession, and spending daily time with God in prayer.
- When I experience doubts about God or His teachings, I respond with an attitude of "faith seeking understanding," rather than an attitude of antagonism.
PRAYER FOR Faith
Dear Lord, please increase my faith. I know that You are worthy of my trust. When I struggle to understand, when I struggle to believe, strengthen my faith in You and in Your Church. I want to believe. I trust You, Lord, and so I say with the man in the Gospels, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief." Amen.
Joyful mastery over one's passions and desires. Saying "no" to oneself in order to say a joyful "yes" to something more important or to something that is better for oneself and for others.
- When I know I've reached my healthy time limit on Tik-Tok, social media, or games, I turn it off for the day.
- When I find myself thinking about something impure or unhealthy, I ask God for help and then do my best to mentally "change the channel" in order to think on better things.
- When I am drawn to look at or click on a particular advertisement, I resist the urge and keep to the task at hand for the sake of purity, industriousness, responsibility, or charity.
- I regularly do small acts of self-denial (for instance, not eating that second cookie, not checking my social media until a certain time) in order to train myself in self-control.
- When I am driving, I control myself by following the speed limit and the other laws of the road.
PRAYER FOR Self-Control
Lord God, please help me to grow in the virtue of self-control. Give me the ability to say no to myself today whenever I feel like doing something that I shouldn't. As a result, give me the ability to yes to You and to what is good. Free me to love You. Amen.
Keeping oneself physically clean and neat, and one's belonging in good order because one knows that applying order will bring peace to one's life.
- I make my bed and keep my room clean.
- I am considerate about where I leave my belongings.
- I throw out the trash — not just my own.
PRAYER FOR Orderliness
Lord God, please help me to grow in the virtue of orderliness. Clear away the clutter in my life that causes me anxiety, prevents me from being responsible, or makes other people suffer because of my own mess. Bring order, Lord, into my life so that by clearing away the clutter, I can have a mind and heart that are freer to love. Amen.
Taking delight in good and honest enjoyment; moderation in the use of recreation.
- I refrain from overworking or stressing too much and instead take time to relax with my family and friends.
- I have good sportsmanship when I play games.
- When I am playing games or relaxing with others, I go out of my way to make sure they are enjoying themselves as well.
- As much as possible, when family or friends are having fun when I am with them, I join in the fun — even if I don't feel like it at the moment.
PRAYER FOR Meekness
Lord Jesus, You who came that we might have life and have it to the full, please increase in me a sincere delight in good wholesome fun. Give me a lightheartedness that is refreshing and encouraging to those around me. Give me a deeper willingness to spend time being rejuvenated with my family. Give me a joyful heart today, Lord. Amen.
Serenity of spirit while focusing on needs of others. If something makes you angry, you can acknowledge it but redirect it so that it does not hurt others.
- Remaining calm and counting to ten when you are upset.
- When I feel angry or irritated, I say, "Could you give me a minute, please?"
- Turn my attention away from my own hurt feelings by choosing to do an act of kindness or service for another.
- Let other people take charge, not feeling like I always need to be in control or calling the shots.
- Try to give the other person a chance to speak uninterrupted to explain his or her side of the situation.
PRAYER FOR Meekness
Lord Jesus, please give me a heart that is meek — not a weak heart full of cowardice, but a strong heart full of courage. When I am angry or irritated with others today, give me the strength to respond with kindness and patience. Amen.
Sincerity, openness, and truthfulness in one's words and actions. Growth in integrity by choosing to be truthful.
- I do not try to make up excuses for not having things done.
- My work is my own, and I give proper credit to sources used.
- I speak directly to the teacher when I have a difficulty.
- I allow my parents to get to know my friends.
PRAYER FOR Honesty
Dear Lord, please give me the grace today to be honest --in what I say to my parents, teachers, coaches, and friends; in all my schoolwork; and in how I behave when no one is watching. Give me the freedom of living in the light, not in the darkness. Amen.
Awareness that all our gifts come from God and appreciation for the gifts of others; knowing God's love for you, you can value your own gifts and those of others. Also known as humbleness.
- I don't point out other people's faults or failures to make me look better.
- I make it a point to compliment and encourage others.
- I am happy and not jealous when others are being praised.
- I thank God for the gifts and talents He has given me, and I strive to use them for His greater glory.
PRAYER FOR HUMILITY
Lord Jesus, You are God, and I am not. You humbled Yourself even to the point of death on a cross for love of me. Please help me to become humble like You, to realize that You are the source of all my gifts, to gain sincere appreciation for the gifts of others, and to be willing to apologize for my faults. Amen.
Enables one to be moderate in the pleasure (every good thing in moderation) and use of created goods.
Things to consider in leading a temperate life include:
- What about of this would be for my authentic flourishing?
- Am I meeting my responsibilities?
- Am I getting a healthy amount of sleep?
- Am I able to give my friends and family the attention they deserve?
- Am I a good steward of my family’s possessions?
PRAYER FOR tEMPERANCE
Dear Father, my heart wants many things, and sometimes I seek these things even more than I seek You. Please help me to grow in the virtue of temperance today. Open my eyes that I may see the things I have allowed to crowd You out of my life. Help me to set limits on those things so that there is more space in my heart for You. Amen.
Doing great things for God. Being financially generous in a discerned, stable, and substantial way.
- I tithe (give 10%) regularly to my place of worship.
- I discern the "mission" behind my money. I pray to the Holy Spirit to determine where my money is meant to go. I prioritize family first, Church and school (JSerra) second, and other interests third.
- I sacrifice my time and talents — in addition to my money — for doing good.
PRAYER FOR MAGNIFICENCE
Lord God, please help me today to recognize that all I have is Yours, since You gave it to me. When I want to hold on to extra wealth or possessions, or when I am tempted to boast of my wealth, give me a spirit of magnificence. Help me be willing to sacrifice my time, talents, and treasure in order to give and do great things for You. I do it because I love You. Amen.
Taking the steps necessary to carry out objectives despite difficulties while knowing that God has a plan for you and will help with difficulties.
- I put in the time for personal practice of a skill/activity.
- I pay full attention to a task until finished.
- I bear physical suffering with a good attitude.
- I take the time to do school work neatly and thoroughly.
PRAYER FOR PERSEVERANCE
Lord God, please help me today to persevere. Keep me faithful to all the commitments I have made. Help me to focus on my prayer, schoolwork, responsibilities at home, and effort at practice. When I am tired or frustrated, give me the grace to keep going until I have finished what I set out to do. I do it because I love You. Amen.
Bearing present difficulties calmly; refraining from complaining when something is difficult.
- I try to call to mind and to express gratitude for all the good things about this person that tests my patience.
- I wait my turn to speak or when I am in line.
- I am okay with not having immediate gratification of my desires.
PRAYER FOR Patience
Lord, help me to bear difficulties with patience today. When I am angered or inconvenienced in any way, give me the grace to respond with kindness. I don’t want to waste any of these opportunities to grow in love. Amen.
Confidently desiring to do great things in God with your talents; knowing your gifts and seeking to share them for God's glory.
- I use my talent in leadership to lead others towards beauty, truth, and goodness.
- I participate in competitions and extracurricular activities to build up my school community.
PRAYER FOR MAGNANIMITY
Lord help me to see the gifts you have given me. Help me to be grateful for my gifts and to work on developing them. Give me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and confidently share my gifts for the good of my family, my team, and my school. Help me to use my gifts not for my own glory, but for Your glory, Lord. Amen.
Industriousness is diligence — especially in work that leads to natural and supernatural maturity. It is striving to make the most of the time you have been given.
- I set aside distractions when doing homework.
- I focus on a task until it is finished and use my work time effectively.
- I jump at opportunities to serve my family, friends, and those I don’t know.
Prayer for Industriousness
Lord Jesus, help me to be diligent in my work and activities today. I know that every single moment of my life has purpose and is a tremendous gift from You. Help me to use today well for love of You and for the good of others. Amen.
Enables one to endure difficulties for the sake of what is good.
- I do the right thing, even when it's hard or unpopular.
- I stand up for the things worth fighting for (my faith, family, friends, etc.).
- I pray and ask God to give me His strength.
Prayer for Fortitude
Lord God, please teach me to be courageous. If anything today seems difficult, embarrassing, or unpopular, and yet I know that it is the right thing to do, give me the grace to do it, no matter the cost. Amen.
Rendering due honor to God by how we behave toward Him and toward events, people, and objects associated with Him.
- I train myself to never take the Lord’s name in vain or to use foul language — especially language that expresses dishonor to people or sacred things.
- I treat every person with dignity and respect out of love for God in whose image they are made.
- During prayer at the beginning of class:
- I take ownership of my engagement in prayer. I don't make the teacher do all the praying. I make it my own prayer.
- I join aloud with all the prayers I know, such as the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.
Prayer for Reverence
Lord Jesus, please help me to grow in deeper reverence for You and for all things associated with You. You deserve all my respect and love. If there is anything right now in the way I speak or behave that fails to show You this honor, please give me the grace to change. Amen.
Acting in a way that inspires confidence and trust; being reliable.
- I tell my parents the whole truth about where I am going and what I am doing.
- When I say I'll get something done, I actually do it.
- I don’t let unnecessary things take priority just because I don't feel like keeping the previous commitment. If it is impossible to fulfill my previous commitment, I contact the other person ahead of time to apologize and explain.
Prayer for Trustworthiness
My Lord, please help me to grow in the virtue of trustworthiness. I want to be reliable, to be someone to whom others know they can turn. Many are counting on me — family, friends, teachers, coaches. Help me to make choices today that earn their trust. Amen.
Having a thankful disposition of mind and heart.
- I recognize the blessings in my life — even during difficult times.
- I refrain from complaining by trying to replace negative thoughts with grateful ones.
- I express thankfulness to others — even when they don't give me what I want (e.g., when a teacher or parent says no to a request, I still say "Thank you" because I know that they have my best interest at heart).
Prayer for Gratitude
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love for me and for providing for me in abundance. Help me to live my life with a spirit of gratitude. When I am tempted today to dwell on the negative, open my eyes to the good — the good things You have given and the good things You are doing. Amen.
Trustfulness in words and actions; honesty and enthusiasm towards others. Communicating on the outside how you genuinely feel on the inside; not deceiving or being hypocritical.
- I give sincere congratulations to others who have succeeded (e.g., sports, school, work, etc.).
- I avoid negative humor, sarcasm, and foul language. I speak what is true and good.
- Before apologizing to someone, I take time to honestly reflect on the harm I have done.
Prayer for Sincerity
Lord Jesus, You told us that You are "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Since You are the Truth, please help me to be genuinely sincere with everyone I meet today. Give me an authentic desire to be present to them, to encourage them, and to honestly care about the way my actions impact them. Amen.
Giving of oneself in a willing and cheerful manner for the good of others.
- I look for ways I can help at home without being asked.
- I give God more than just the bare minimum amount of time in my life.
- I prepare gifts or cards to give to loved ones on their birthdays or for special occasions.
- When I hear that someone is in need, I start thinking about things I could do that would ease that person’s burden. I choose one of those ideas and make it happen.
Prayer for Generosity
Dear Lord, all I have is from You and belongs to You. Thank you for blessing me with so much. Please help me today to notice ways that I can be generous and make of my life a gift to others. Amen.
Treating others with the respect due to them as sons and daughters of God; recognizing that all are made in God's image and likeness (also known as politeness).
Examples of Things said by Courteous People
- "Thank you."
- "Pardon me." "Excuse me."
- Addressing adults as "Sir," "Ma'am," "Mr./Mrs. ____," "Sister," "Father," "Officer"
- "Here, let me get that door for you."
- "Go ahead. You can ask your question first."
- "May I get that for you?"
- "Here, let me get that door for you."
Prayer for Courtesy
Dear Lord, please help me to act with courtesy toward every person I encounter today. In all the little acts of holding doors, being polite, and offering help, help me to love them and to love You in them. Amen.
Assenting to rightful authority without hesitation or resistance.
- I obey the rules and requests of my parents, teachers, and coaches without making them ask twice.
- I try to understand rules and guidelines from the perspective of the teacher/coach/parent (e.g., I think about why they would make a rule like this).
- I obey the law and other rules even when no one is looking.
Prayer for Obedience
Lord Jesus, You loved doing all that the Father asked of You, even when it meant laying down Your life on the cross. Please help me to grow in the virtue of obedience. Give me a willingness to do what I have been asked to do and to do it joyfully out of love for You. Amen.
Accepting the bonds implicit in relationships and defending the virtues upheld by Church, family, and country.
- To God: I seek to understand my faith more deeply.
- To Family: I prioritize family events over other less important events.
- To School: I take care of school property.
- To Team: I refrain from making disparaging remarks about my coach or teammates.
- To Friends: I make uplifting comments about my friends.
- To Country: I participate aloud in saying the Pledge of Allegiance at school in the morning.
Prayer for Loyalty
Lord God, there are so many people in my life. I am in relationship with You, my family, my friends, my school community, my teams, and my country. Please increase my loyalty within each of these relationships so that I am always willing to defend them and to promote their true good. Amen.
Expressing genuine concern about the well-being of others; anticipating their needs.
- I encourage others when they are having a hard time (e.g., sending a text, writing a letter/note, calling on the phone)
- I notice and am aware of what my family and friends enjoy so that I can give them thoughtful, personal gifts.
- When someone is sick, I am particularly attentive to their needs (e.g., at home I help my parents/siblings; with friends, I offer to pick up books or bring them their homework)
Prayer for Kindness
Lord Jesus, please open my eyes today. Help me to see the needs of those around me and to respond to those needs with acts of kindness in my smile, speech, and acts of service. Amen.
Fulfilling one's just duties; accepting the consequences of one's words and actions, intentional and unintentional.
- I am careful to show up when I am supposed to meet with a teacher or make up a test.
- I come to sports practice on time or early, and I'm always suited up and ready to go when it's time to begin.
- When I earn a consequence from my parents for bad behavior, I accept the consequence without talking back. I strive to have a good attitude as I fulfill the consequence, knowing that it is for my ultimate benefit.
Prayer for Responsibility
Lord God, thank You for giving me a particular part to play in this world You created. Please help me to joyfully fulfill my responsibilities today to the best of my ability, out of love for You and for my neighbor. Amen.
Being easy to approach and easy to talk to; being friendly.
- I am warm and friendly with others (e.g., making eye contact, smiling and having a cheerful tone even when I don’t feel like it).
- I invite other people to join my conversation or lunch table.
- I say "good morning" and "good night" to my family members.
Prayer for Affability
Lord Jesus, help me today to be affable. May my smile, greetings, and conversation create an environment in which all those around me feel welcome and loved with the same love You have for them. Amen.
Giving to each, beginning with God, what is due him.
God's image stamped in human nature is the source of both rights and duties. What is owed to other people is based on our relationship to them. My first responsibility is to my family, Church, and school. After that, my local community, my country, and the world.
- I give respect to the authority figures in my life.
- I value my education, therefore I do my homework and listen during class.
- I owe it to every human person to treat him/her with the deepest respect.
Prayer for Justice
My Lord, please help me to grow in the virtue of justice. I owe You my love and respect, and I owe the same to every person I encounter today. Please give me the courage today to joyfully give that to You and to them. Amen.
Circumspection is the careful consideration of circumstances and consequences.
I ask advice from older, trusted persons. For instance:
"If I sent this email as it is worded right now, do you think the recipient might be offended or misunderstand me?"
"Do you think it would be OK for me to just text that to him or should I wait until I see him in person tomorrow?"
Prayer for Circumspection
Dear Lord, I trust that You love me and that everything is in Your hands. As I go through today, please help me to act with circumspection, taking time to think about the impact my decisions could have on others and on my relationship with You. Let all my choices be for Your glory and for the good of souls. Amen.
Docility is the willingness to be taught.
- "I really appreciate that advice."
- "Would you please, at some point, be able to give me some feedback on how I ____? I’m trying to work on this and would really appreciate your thoughts."
- "Coach, I’m always having trouble with ___. How can I improve?"
Prayer for Docility
Lord Jesus, You are God and yet You willingly and joyfully let Yourself be taught by Mary and Joseph. Please help me to grow in the virtue of docility so that I, too, can be humble enough to accept advice and correction with deep gratitude toward those who love me enough to give it. Amen.
Foresight is the consideration of the consequences of one’s actions; thinking ahead.
- I think about how long I will need to get a project done or how much time it will take to study for a certain test.
- I prepare items for the next day (e.g., lunch, sports equipment, assignments, computer).
- I have an awareness of what’s coming up on the family schedule.
Prayer for Foresight
Dear Lord, please increase in me the virtue of foresight. Help me to think ahead today so that I can be responsible in my duties, respectful toward those who are counting on me, and ready to give of myself for the good of others. Amen.
Prudence enables one to reason and act rightly in any given situation.
In other words, prudence helps you to know what you should do and how you should do it.
- I refrain from reacting too quickly to things, giving myself time to figure out how to respond.
- I follow through with my decisions.
Prayer for Prudence
Father in Heaven, You know what is best in every situation. Please help me to grow in the virtue of prudence, that I may know what I should do in each circumstance I face today. And once I know it, help me to do it for love of You. Amen.
I am always thrilled to learn about a new virtue because I know it will help me in my faith journey and to have true peace and joy in my life.
I think my favorite experience in class was learning about a new virtue each week. It had a big impact on me and seeing that growth in me as a person was very enjoyable. I plan to use the virtues I learned for the rest of my life.