Virtues are connected to our conscience. The conscience is where we recognize the moral quality of each and every action. It is our most secret core - the place where we are alone with God, able to hear His voice. Virtues help us ‘form’ our conscience so that we clearly hear what God is saying and competently carry out what is right, good, true and beautiful.
As a parent, what do you think is the most important part of virtue training? Is it understanding the virtues and knowing what each means? Is it explaining each virtue to your children and then monitoring the development in their lives? Or, is it selecting one or two virtues to ‘showcase’ in your own life?
Clearly, the most important part of virtue training for any parent is to commit oneself to the overall goal of “doing what is right and avoiding what is evil”. Making a personal decision in favor of moral goodness sets the best stage for parenting. A commitment to doing what is right allows you to govern your passions and find peace and joy as the head of your family. Without a firm commitment to what is right, it is likely that you will be dominated by your emotions and become unhappy.
As is the case with any habit, developing a virtuous life is a lifelong process. It takes a great deal of time and energy to become skilled at choosing what is right. Be assured that virtuous competence is worth the effort it takes. Parents that commit to this long and exacting work will enjoy fulfilling relationships and finds contentment in family life.
Virtues are firm habits to do what is right and good. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “a virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best himself.” (CCC 1803).
Virtues open us up to a good and meaningful life. They guide us to live morally, control our emotions and avoid what is sinful. In doing so, virtues help us become ‘fully human” and tap into the rich potential given to us by God.