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Preparing for a Good Lent: Prayer

Today, we continue our series on how to prepare for a good Lent by focusing on the first of the three pillars: prayer. "Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven." – St. Ephrem of Syria Other...

Five Ways to Increase Patience

None of us can claim to have mastered perfectly the virtue of patience. We think we have made a major victory in acquiring patience, and then, out of the blue and taken by surprise, we explode! Our illusion of being the most patient person in the world went up in smoke! Patience is so important that Jesus Christ, our model in...

Get Married Young Man, Part 3: 5 Ways to Prepare Yourself

Marriage is wonderful, but it brings with it a lot of responsibilities and duties. Scripture and the teaching of the Church are quite clear--- the husband is the head of the home, and he bears the primary responsibility before God for its happiness and holiness. In imitation of Jesus, the husband is the prophet, priest, and king of the domestic...

The Cardinal Virtues: Temperance

When I think about it, it still boggles my mind that the United States of America once passed a constitutional amendment outlawing alcohol. The movement that made this happen was composed of a bunch of fusty tee-totaling ladies that believed alcohol to be one of the greatest evils known to man. Most unfortunately, they mislabeled themselves the "Temperance" movement, when...

The Cardinal Virtues: Prudence

Previously, I've written about the importance of being a virtuous man, but it's difficult to pursue virtue if we don't first know what virtue is. Fortunately, Mother Church, building on the great thinkers of the ancient world, has outlined exactly which seven virtues we should pursue, and she has given us clear definitions of each. The first four virtues are called the cardinal virtues...

Dress Up for Mass!

Society is growing more and more casual. I have seen people shopping for groceries in their pajama pants and fuzzy slippers. I've been to world-class classical concerts where people are dressed in Hawaiian shirts and jeans.  In fact, it's hard to think of anything people will dress up for anymore. Even weddings and funerals are getting more and more casual. This...

Putting the Gentle in Gentleman

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength." - St. Francis de Sales If we're honest, most of us would have to admit that gentleness isn't high on the list of manly qualities we hope to possess. We want to be tough, we want to be strong, we want to be resilient---we want to be anything but...

The Virtuous Man

Virtue isn't often associated with manliness these days. In fact, the exact opposite is true---many believe you aren't a real man unless you are a "bad boy" or a rebel. But this wasn't always the case. In fact, the virtue comes from the Latin word vir, meaning man. Virtue literally means manliness. In ancient times, philosophers like Aristotle encouraged men to cultivate virtue...