As we wind down the school year this month, the virtue that we are reflecting upon here at school is TEMPERANCE. Have you ever wondered exactly what this word means? It must be a pretty important virtue if the city fathers decided to name a street after it, and many of us drive on this street every day as we come to school! According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “TEMPERANCE is the moral virtue that moderates 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.”
So TEMPERANCE helps us moderate the pleasures of life, and it helps us use all that God has given us in a balanced way. In other words, with TEMPERANCE there are no extremes. The New Testament also calls TEMPERANCE by other words, such as “moderation” and “sobriety.”
What would the virtue of TEMPERANCE look like in our everyday lives? TEMPERANCE would lead us to moderate our eating habits, drinking habits, and sleeping habits. TEMPERANCE helps us not to eat more than we ought, to not drink more than we ought (and this is especially true regarding alcohol since the Scriptures are clear that drunkenness is not in accord with Christian living), to not rest more than we ought, and to not work more than we ought. There is a time for work. There is a time for play. There is a time for rest.
Moderation is to be embraced. Excess is to be avoided. TEMPERANCE would also have a profound effect on the amount of time we dedicate to social media (Facebook, Snapchat, etc.), the internet, TV, movies, music, and any other pleasure we can think of.
The saints show us how to live a life of TEMPERANCE. The saints know when to pray, and they know when to work. They know when to play, and they know when to be serious. They know when to dive into the action, and they know when to retreat or pull back from the action. Saints know how to use all that God has given them and to do so in a way that gives God the glory and honor.
Lord, we ask you to help us grow in the virtue of TEMPERANCE. Help us to approach each day fully alive! Help us to remain sober and alert (1 Peter 5: 8-9)! As we go through the summer months, be the center of all we say and do. Bless our families, our children, and our school. Keep us safe in your Sacred Heart and in our Mother Mary’s Immaculate Heart. We give you thanks for the many blessings of this past school year! Your JOY has been our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)! Amen.
Peace to you and your families,
Coordinator of Religious Education