About a month ago I noticed my children ages 4, 6, 8, 9, and 16 were bickering more than usual! It was a little upsetting to see them act this ugly way towards one another as we do all the “right things” as a Catholic family. We pray the Rosary daily right after lunch, we read about the lives of the saints, we use a Catholic Curriculum which incorporates the Faith across the board (OLVS), and we go to Mass every Sunday as well as often as possible during the week! We even recently participated in a Rosary Procession in the streets near downtown Scranton, PA and this coming Sunday will participate in a Eucharisti Procession! All these thoughts raced in my brain as I saw them calling each other names I cannot print here and which are NOT allowed to be uttered in my home. No longer did they want to help each other with chores and the constant bickering was driving me insane! For goodness sake, we even go to the High Mass of the Latin Mass, aren’t all Latin Mass children supposed to just *know* how to behave in a virtuous manner? I guessed not.
This brought me to the realization that I needed to be more proactive in my integrating the virtues into our daily routine. I went Googling for virtues, Christian virtues, and even Catholic virtues and found a plethora of information on virtues. The CCC tells us, “Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good. The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.”
While reading through the virtues (cardinal and theological) according the Ancient Christian teachings (on morals [CCC #1749-#1802] and virtues [CCC #1803-#1845], these are under Part III, Section 1, Chapter 1, Articles 4 to 7 of the CCC), there are four cardinal (from “hinge”) virtues:
- Prudence: discern the good in circumstance and the means to attain the same
- Justice: constant and firm will to give what is due to God and neighbor
- Fortitude: firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of good
- Temperance: moderates the attraction of pleasure (natural elements of created goods) and balance in the utility of created goods
Further, there are three theological virtues. Their highest object is God.
- Faith: belief in God and his promises
- Hope: desire of God’s presence and trust in his Ways
- Charity: preference of God above all things, others and self being second, and things third
All this was wonderful information but HOW was I going to easily incorporate it into my already busy homeschooling day? Then I remembered a book I received from Catholic author, Cassandra Poppe! When you first look at the cover of this great books, you would not suspect that it is jam packed with so many practical ideas on how to incorporate and teach virtues using the Holy Rosary. As I thumbed through her book entitled, The Rosary Quilt Manual, I realized I had the answer to my prayers right in my own home! A virtues program that is Catholic and incorporates our beloved Rosary (my children love praying the Rosary, they can do it in English, Spanish and Latin but their favorite is to chant the Rosary – it’s really adorable and I know brings joy to Our Blessed Mother’s heart!) It was such an answered prayer when I discovered this gem which sat collecting dust on my bookshelf for months! So quickly I put the books into action and found that explicit teaching of the virtues was definitely something that I needed to do, implicitly by reading the lives of the saints and living out our Catholic faith was not enough!
So I contact the author Cassandra Poppe and she agreed for me to do a review of this beautiful program AND she would also give us a FREE PDF of the whole program to one of our readers! Simple fill out as much as you can of this following form for your chance to win this amazing Catholic virtues program, The Rosary Quilt Manual comprised of ONE digital file which will contain the books, poster and directions on how to make your own Rosary quilt.
In the meantime if you would like to visit Cassandra or check out this beautiful curriculum, you can like her page, see the product at her Etsy Store, Intercessories Family Ministry, LLC OR enjoy reading her amazing blog, Flectamus Genua where she shares her journey as a Catholic mother, homeschooler, and author. Cassandra has started another great venture Christian Crafts for Children, join her group on Facebook for some really neat kits.