The following quote from Epictetus, Enchiridion show us the theme of acceptance and when one has a belief in a higher power, then there is no such thing as an event going contrary to plan…Thy Will be done.
Lead on God and Destiny
To that God fixed for me long ago
I will follow and not stumble; even if my will
is weak I will soldier on.
I am trying to keep this maxim in mind when balancing the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results) versus the virtue of perseverance. Notwithstanding, my efforts and the results of my latest book (Restoring Character in America,) I am learning to accept this event was willed to happen.
Part of the mission of the Character Building Project is to mobilize “character communities of interests” by discussing, sharing and publishing books, studies and articles on character development.
David Brooks The Road to Character is one such book I wish to suggest to our readers. If you do not have time to read the entire book, the most concise excerpt I might share is what David calls his Humility Code. Here is a brief summary of the list:
A meaningful life includes the struggle to become more morally fit.
We need to recognize that it is human nature to be flawed.
An essential part of becoming more moral is engaging in the struggle of our strengths triumphing over our weaknesses.
Humility is our greatest strength
Our most central vice is our pride.
Once the basic needs for living are met, the most important part of life is the struggle of… Continue reading
Chris Kyle preferred the common good to his own individual good. If you’ve seen American Sniper, you’ll recall that his preference is displayed poignantly in an argument with his wife, Taya, before his fourth tour in Iraq. She asks him why he’s thinking about going back “over there.” She’s raising the kids by herself. She knows these extra tours are not strictly necessary. Other husbands have done fewer, and she demands to know why he wants more. What about her and the kids?
Kyle doesn’t give an eloquent answer in the movie. He mentions duty to country and denies loving war for its own sake. In his autobiography Kyle reveals more, saying that he and his wife are thinking with different sets of priorities: God, family, and country in her case, but God, country, and family in his.
Most of us will never face this kind of existential challenge. There… Continue reading
I have been thinking about the passage in the New Testament where the centurion, a Roman officer who commands over 100 soldiers, comes to Jesus and implores Him to heal one of his servants who is suffering.
Jesus agrees to go to the man’s house and heal this servant. The centurion responds, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
I was first struck that the centurion, as a “man under authority,” readily recognizes the ultimate authority of God over earthly troops, so through the power of prayer, he tries to help his ailing employee. Christ… Continue reading
When knowing of the numerous painful operations and physical challenges my wounded warrior pals constantly face, praying the rosary by itself sometimes seems inadequate. So, from time to time, I offer the reading of the Psalms (Douay-Rheims Bible) for their successful long-term recovery.
Unto the end, a psalm for David, in an ecstasy. In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, Iet me never be confounded: deliver me in thy justice.
Bow down thy ear to me: make haste to deliver me. Be thou unto me a God, a protector, and a house of refuge, to save me.
For thou art my strength and my refuge; and for thy name’s sake thou wilt lead me, and nourish me.
Thou wilt bring me out of this snare, which they have hidden for me: for thou art my protector.
Into thy hands I commend my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, the… Continue reading
It was almost as if it were a sign from God. I woke up one morning deciding to join the military. Academically I was ok, if I would just put in that effort I could have accomplished more than I thought; in school that is. At the ages of 16-18 I was just another young kid running around on the streets with friends. I thought and was almost positive that the time would never come to have to grow up. I chose the paths that lead me to sitting here writing this essay. Continue reading
My good friend and faithful reader of the Character Building Project Dick Kane, forwarded Dennis Prager’s article (see below) from the National Review Online. Readers add value to our character building effort by sharing opinions and or forwarding relevant articles like Why Young Americans Can’t Think Morally. Having just returned from addressing students at Belmont Abbey College, I am able to unequivocally state, at least for the students at Belmont Abbey, moral standards have not been replaced by feelings. Continue reading