How do I sincerely place members of my family above me and my desires?
As the family leader I am most able to determine its spiritual, social, and financial atmosphere through my actions. How do I sincerely place members of my family above me and my desires? What do I do to be sure that I am not keeping score or manipulating situations to my advantage, rather teaching through humility.
1. Romans 12: 1-12
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.
2 And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think as to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith.
4 For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office:
5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another.
6 And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith;
7 or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry; or he that teacheth, to his teaching;
8 or he that exhorteth, to his exhorting: he that giveth, let him do it with liberality; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another;
11 in diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing stedfastly in prayer;
2. 1 Kings 3:10-14
1. Part III, Section One; Article 7: 1808-1809 (page 444)
1808 Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. “The Lord is my strength and my song.”70 “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”71
1809 Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: “Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart.”72 Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: “Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites.”73 In the New Testament it is called “moderation” or “sobriety.” We ought “to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world.”74
To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul and with all one’s efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude). It obeys only [God] (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).75
Small Group Questions
1. What do you do to make sure that you are placing others before you?
2. Do your children believe that you are sacrificing for them? How do they understand this without you “laying a guilt trip” on them?
3. How do you manage the line between putting others first and not being taken advantage of?
1. Rediscovering Catholicism, by Matthew Kelly, pages 27-29
1. This week bring this topic up to your family at the dinner table and have a discussion about putting other needs above their own.
Taken from 2009 syllabus and adapted by Mark Oliva