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Encounter Grow Witness Podcast Episode 4: Virtues for Today's Church
Fr. Steve and Beth examine each of the cardinal and theological virtues and how we can use them in the Church as individuals in our ministries today.
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Show notes:

(0:21) Fr. Steve and Beth catch up and reflect on the nice spring weather we’ve been having and what they’re enjoying about May so far

(7:06) Fr. Steve introduces this month’s topic of virtues, especially those that God is calling for out of this present moment. He talks about the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and courage, as well as the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity

(9:25) Beth talks about prudence and the flexibility we need to change our approaches and processes for the Church that we have, which may not be the same as the one we used to know. Fr. Steve offers the example of campus ministry he’s been doing lately, sharing that both the tools and the language used to communicate with college-aged students are so different from what they used to be, and Beth remembers feeling this way in youth ministry as well

(13:45) The two discuss justice as a very necessary willingness to talk about Jesus and the right people have to know him. Beth brings in an example from Penn Jillette to outline that right, and Fr. Steve shares some reflection he’s done on the seventh commandment, “you shall not steal,” as it relates to evangelization

(17:25) They talk about courage; Fr. Steve relates it similarly to the conversation on justice, saying that we have to be willing to engage in the difficult conversations about the Church. The answer to so many of our questions lie in the heart of Jesus, so we have to have the courage to enter into these conversations without the perfect assurance of our own satisfactory answer. Beth adds, saying that she thinks of this courage as the fortitude to live differently in the midst of hostility

(20:54) Beth defines temperance and gives her experience of it being childlike trust, in a way that we aren’t relying on earthly things to solve our problems but rather we’re fully trusting the Lord with them. Fr. Steve echoes a similar sentiment, also adding that a large part of temperance in the year 2021 is moderating our use of social media

(27:37) Fr. Steve then moves the conversation to the theological virtues, which are not things that we earn, but things that God freely gives us out of love. He begins with faith, with the virtue being confidence in the whole Gospel, how it all fits together, and modeling our lives after it. Beth adds with her reflection on confidence in the Holy Spirit and how we are part of God’s work on earth

(33:59) Beth introduces and defines the virtue of hope. She shares a story from her travels that exemplifies how hope should be lived out today — by dwelling on the good and always thinking of heaven. Fr. Steve echoes this idea and adds that we find who the saints in our lives are and how we can turn to them as examples of hope.

(38:33) They move to charity, for which Beth offers the Catechism’s definition of loving God above all things and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Beth begins the conversation on charity by expressing the deep personal intimacy each of us needs with God. Fr. Steve adds the importance of sacrificial love, especially for those who don’t believe in God and being willing to be inconvenienced or overlook certain things as a way to bear witness to the Gospel in our lives.

(45:13) Fr. Steve and Beth answer audience questions. They discuss how people can grow in virtue and their favorite devotions within the Church. They do a quick cheese quiz for National American Cheese Month and end with personal takeaways from today’s conversation.

Links from this episode:

From Christendom to Apostolic Mission
Center for Church Management

Gaudium et Spes

Monk Manual

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises