Thomas Aquinas: A Virtuous Responsibility

August 27

“Perfection of moral virtue does not wholly take away the passions,

but regulates them.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

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The virtue of a pure heart should be cherished and protected. It should be nurtured and cultivated.

I have to be careful as a dad with these precious commodities and beautiful little hearts I’ve been entrusted with. God has tasked me with the responsibility of heart-shaping and as a parent, well… it is far too easy to crush or even snuff out the pure qualities that The Lord has instilled within my children.

It’s not really a difficult job, but it does require some diligence and consistency to protect the qualities God has put within the hearts of my kids. Sometimes what seems annoying are the very tiny details that God needs me to pay most attention to. I get busy, and in my busyness, it’s all to easy to dismiss my children. They desire attention and my time and with every dismissal, I create one more hard stone built up for The Lord to one day break down. If I’m not careful, over time, I can slowly strip away each perfect virtue until all that is left is a spirit of doubt, cynicism and mockery that will leave them wary of God’s unconditional Love and His Grace.

I can’t be the perfect father. I will make mistakes. I will error often in mistaking boundaries with laziness. And I will dismiss them when they need me most. It has happened. It will happen again. But the Holy Spirit will never stop guiding me and prompting me in my role as a dad. And the great thing about young, pure hearts: they’re pretty resilient and strong. They are also very forgiving. I am always amazed how so little attention and time it really takes, when the time and attention is of the highest quality, to take a strong and pure virtuous heart and re-enforce it in the strength, security and love of Christ. Nothing could be easier, really. Again… it just takes a little bit of my time and deep attention!

No one has a greater influence or opportunity to shape the hearts and minds of my children then my wife and I. But if I dismiss them and neglect this opportunity, someone or something will eventually step into my rightful role to shape and influence my kids. And THAT is a chilling thought. Peace, Sean Gutteridge

 

Today’s Scriptures: 1 John 3:16-18

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

John 3:16-17

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

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