This week our virtue theme is TEMPERANCE – The strength to control the desire for pleasure. TEMPERANCE is so necessary for much of life. We need TEMPERANCE on this team, in school, in our relationships if we really want to succeed in doing the difficult things necessary to win.
Lord Jesus, when You were tempted in the desert by the devil You gave us a great example of TEMPERANCE. You had the strength to control the desire for pleasure. We need Your help to do the same. Grant us the desire to embrace the virtue of TEMPERANCE and when we experience temptation or weakness may we always reach out to you for help.
THE STORY OF SISTER MARIA GORETTI
Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her farmworker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. Her father died of malaria and her mother had to struggle to feed her children.
In 1902 an eighteen-year-old neighbor, Alexander, grabbed her from her steps and tried to rape her. When Maria said that she would rather died than submit, Alexander began stabbing her with a knife.
As she lay in the hospital, she forgave Alexander before she died. Her death didn’t end her forgiveness, however.
Alexander was captured and sentenced to thirty years. He was unrepentant until he had a dream that he was in a garden. Maria was there and gave him flowers. When he woke, he was a changed man, repenting of his crime and living a reformed life.
When he was released after 27 years he went directly to Maria’s mother to beg her forgiveness, which she gave. “If my daughter can forgive him, who am I to withhold forgiveness,” she said.
When Maria was declared a saint in 1950, Alexander was there in the St. Peter’s crowd to celebrate her canonization. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950 for her purity as a model for youth.
Maria showed great courage and temperance in striving to remain pure – something that is not valued too much in our culture. How can we help one another to live this type of virtue?
RESOLUTION TO WORK ON
The pleasure of winning is such a staple in sports. Decide to practice the virtue of TEMPERANCE this week in practice by doing the difficult things necessary and forgiving all the pleasurable things that can hurt your performance.
Lord God, TEMPERANCE is a tough virtue to practice. It is just so easy to eat too much, snack too much, seek pleasure too much, etc. Give us the wisdom and strength to conquer these temptations so we can be in control of ourselves instead of being controlled by food, drink or other things. Help us to practice TEMPERANCE by avoiding any situations where we know we will be tempted. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
WAY TO LIVE THE VIRTUE THIS WEEK
Don’t allow yourself into situations where you know you will be tempted.
Virtue = Strength