The Virtues

Advent 2 – What is Hope?

Whatever was written in former days, was written for our instruction; that through endurance, and encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope. [Romans 15:4] Advent is a season of hope – we have some natural hopes – the expectation of holidays, the celebration of Christmas with family or friends.  But we also have supernatural hopes: that God has come to us in the flesh as a child to save us, and there is a…

Lust or Love

[Click here to listen to a great sermon by Timothy Keller on this subject!] I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. [Matt 5:28] Lust, in its narrow definition as related to sexual desire, can get a lot of attention, in teaching about the moral life.  Rightly, we’ve left it to the last in this series!  When Dorothy Sayers decided to write on the…

Greed or Heavenly Avarice

We are the children of God. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him. [Rom 8:16-17] Our souls are made to desire good things.  This desire or appetite is something we share with animals.  But our appetites can lead us astray, if we are not exercising our reason.  We can become fixated on a lesser…

Vainglory or True Glory?

The creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope.  [Rom 8:20] We have a desire for greatness built into our souls by God.  Vainglory, is a confusion about how to satisfy our desire for greatness. The desire for greatness is seen plainly in our society in its fascination with celebrities, with people in positions of power, or with other people of note –…

Sloth or Entering into God’s Rest

Owe no one anything but to love one another. Last year in the Student Bible Studies, the focus was on the virtues – four cardinal virtues, and the three theological virtues.  When they finished that series they started to look at the vices, and so I thought I would preach on Sloth, the last Bible study you had last year. (Next Tuesday students will decide about the coming year and I will be interested to…

Be strong and of good courage!

Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened nor dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. We are continuing a thematic approach to these evenings, focusing on the virtues of the soul.  Tonight we are considering “Courage” or “Fortitude”. I’ve been blessed again with the notes of the student Bible studies – this time Paula has recently led the student Bible study on Courage and prepared a wonderful summary…

Temperate in all things?

Everyone who strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. We are continuing a thematic approach to these evenings, focusing on the virtues of the soul. Tonight we are considering “Temperance”, the cardinal virtue that has been associated with the appetitive aspect of the soul. A week ago Tuesday night, Simone led the Bible study on Temperance and prepared a wonderful summary and excellent questions for reflection, which has helped me prepare tonight. ———— A virtue…

Prudence and the Foolishness of God

The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, And the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. We are continuing a thematic approach to these evenings together. Each night we will consider one of the virtues of the soul – starting in the last three months with Love, Faith and Hope – gathered together by St Paul in different places in his writings – they are the foundation of the Christian life. Tonight…

The Hope of Glory!

As you all hopefully know, the theme of tonight is hope. This theme fits of course very well to these weeks before Christmas, as we both look forward and back: back to the fulfilment of many prophecies with the birth of Christ, and forward to the fulfilment of many prophecies with the coming of Christ in glory. But there is another reason why I’m talking about hope today. In October we started a Student Bible…

What is Love?

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. Over the next seven months we are planning a thematic approach to these evenings together. Each night we will consider one of the virtues of the soul – starting these last three months of this year with Love, Faith and Hope – gathered together by St Paul in different places in his writings – they are the…