Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Virtue That Studied Us

~St. John The Almsgiver~

 I didn't "plan" to study one of the Theological Virtues this past week...
But somehow the virtue of Charity found it's own way to our studies! 
It all began with the reading about the life of St. John the Almsgiver
on his Feast Day, January 10th.
On Monday: Our favorite daily saint reading book described John the Almsgiver as a Christian nobleman who used his position to help the poor.  Because of his great charity, he is called the "almsgiver", which some of my younger children learned means someone who gives money, food, or clothing to those who need it.  When people asked Bishop John how he could be so charitable and unselfish, he told a story about a vision that he had as a young boy.  "Charity" came to him in the form of a beautiful girl, the oldest daughter of the King.  Charity tells Bishop John in his dream that she will lead him to Jesus and no one is as powerful as she is.  Charity goes on to tell John that it was for her that Jesus became a baby to redeem humankind.  
Wow, the power of Charity and Love really sunk in!
This story prompted a lively (impromptu) discussion, as the lives of the saints often do.  A verbal list of actions for our family began to develop from the hearts of the children, including almsgiving that can begin right here at home! [Especially since Lent is right around the corner]

On Tuesday: I picked up one of the many books that I had recently found at the local library for our Winter Theme Study.  Most of the books I had just chosen randomly.  My sister suggested this one with the adorable illustrations.  As it turned out, it was the sweetest story about CHARITY!  I highly recommend this precious book for K-3.  You won't be disappointed.

On Wednesday: I visited JOYfilled family to "discover" Lena's beautiful post on, YES, CHARITY!  She posted a Charity Litany that was a prayerful addition to our virtue that studied us!

On Thursday: I learned a bit more about charity (myself) during my Holy Hour.  Oh, the power of love!

On Friday:  The news came out that our beloved Venerable Pope John Paul II, The Great, will be beatified on May 1, 2011.  (Divine Mercy Sunday)  This was an amazing finale to our study as we talked about his life, lived for others in love and complete charity.  We also learned that he will be Patron of  World Youth Day (WYD), 2011.  This will be a lovely spiritual experience  for my husband and oldest son who will be attending WYD with other parish pilgrims in August!  I have my own connection with VJPII, The Great, who shares the same death anniversary, April 2, (different year) as my late husband.  Pope JPII taught me many things but one quote in particular sustains me: 
"Do not abandon yourselves to despair, we are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song."
Our Venerable Pope was a personal witness to love.

I just love this man and I share this Christian love with so many.  Like the quote from Mark Twain: "He loved to love people, therefore people loved him."
His exhortations for Catholics, and all people of good will, was to “stand up when human rights are attacked, when the unborn are threatened, when marriage is undermined, and the poor and suffering are neglected.”
How's that for ultimate Charity?

I never could have planned out such a week in the providential way it unfolded on it's own.  
I couldn't be more grateful for the virtue that studied us!


  1. and that's what I call a miracle!! miracles are everywhere, bringing us closer to Our Lord, "expanding ever wider our horizons" (as JPII says) when we sense that God is sending us in a particular direction. I loved your post. not everyone would have deciphered those events this week that you were able to see as spiritual direction. how wonderful that JPII and your first husband share April 2, how very comforting that must be for you.

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  3. praise be to God that you are open to His promptings and allowing His plan to reign. keep being open to having the "virtues study you.
    Pope John Paul II, ora pro nobis.
    ALL FOR!


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