Friday, February 22


A Lenten Reflection

It's still Lent! Do you know where your penances are?

Love everyone with a deep love based on charity, Philothea, but form friendships only with those who can share virtuous things with you. The higher the virtues you share and exchange with others, the more perfect your friendship will be. If this participation is in matters of knowledge, the resulting friendship is certainly very praiseworthy. It is still more so if you have virtues in common, namely, prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice. If your mutual and reciprocal exchanges concern charity, devotion, and Christian perfection, O God, how precious this friendship will be!

- St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life

If, my friends, we might share and exchange a little advice on virtues, I thought I might ask a few questions for reflection, and let others ask some, as well.

(1) In your daily life, how has being Catholic made you more loving, in a concrete sense, to those with whom you come in contact each day?

Personally, once I began taking our faith seriously, life at home became joyful in new ways. People notice small expressions of respect or disrespect, and so the whole environment of a place can change if you respond immediately to someone when they call for you--St. Francis used to set down his pencil in the middle of writing a single letter of the alphabet, so immediately did he respond to those who called for him--or if you do what you are asked to do with no complaining, or even do things in advance without being asked, because when you do these almost imperceptible things, those people are put before your own will to follow your own desires: you are drawn out of yourself, others realize the importance they have to you, and again, the whole environment of a home can change. These are little and yet deeply sacrificial actions of thoughtfulness. There's nothing wrong with not doing them, and yet, in a sense, there is.

(2) What are ways in which your friendships can be edifying? Or ways in which you could try to make them more edifying?

Look forward to your thoughts!

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