know that the ancient church fathers recognized
the three theological virtues
from the letters of Paul of Tarsus,
and the four cardinal virtues from ancient Greek
The Three Theological Virtues
HOPE and CHARITY
is a belief in You, God, which exceeds
what can be proven by science, or any other means.
Lord, give me trust and strong faith which endures
in an agnostic, atheistic
and materialistic world. Keep me true
to my beliefs.
is complete trust in Your goodness
and promises, and the conviction that we are worthy
of salvation if we do our ultimate best to live
a good life in all respects.
please give me hope always, so that
I never give in to depression, cynicism, doubt or
despair. Let me know always that You are here with
me so that I can endure through good times and any
or set-back, and even paralyzing disease
or loss of any kind.
is unconditional love for God
and all of His creatures.
please fill me with Your love, and let me see Your
love and You in every person I encounter, in any
place and any situation.
The Four Cardinal Virtues
JUSTICE, RESTRAINT and FORTITUDE
me have these virtues too, God,
which You revealed to the ancients
even before You came down upon the earth.
the quality of considering carefully before acting.
me look before I leap, Lord. Let me never be slow
to take action when actions is needed but let me
never be sudden to jump in where
I should not be, to speak when I should
hold my tongue, or to decide before I have all the
pertinent facts before me.
is giving to each person the respect, the sustenance
and the autonomy which each person rightly deserves.
me God to fairness, impartiality
and generosity in all my dealings
with all people in all situations. Let me stand
up for "the little man," and woman,
realizing that even the "least among us"
are divine souls created by You.
is the quality of holding back judgment and action
when a situation
is unclear or unresolved.
Let me never act in irrational anger
or without considering or understanding
the consequences of what I intend to do.
Give me, please, patience, Lord,
and let me never rush to judgment
or to ill-considered decisions.
is the will to act when virtue requires that one
act, no matter what fears, challenges or consequences
be strength, Lord, and the courage to do what is
right and necessary in every situation.
all these virtues, theological and Cardinal, guide
my life, and make me worthy
to come one day to You in Your heavenly kingdom.