St. Alphonsus has a tradition of reflecting on the virtues. There are so many virtues to reflect on, but there are some virtues which he considered very important for a deeper reflection. Practicing the virtues is very important in the life of a Christian. One of the reasons is that it helps us to stay away from sin. Instead of thinking of a sin to avoid, it is better to think of a virtue to practice. Virtues are like antedotes to sin. It is impossible for someone to be practicing virtue and sinning at the same time. Part of our daily reflections on the readings will also be reflections on the virtues given to us by St. Alphonsus as follows:

January- Faith- “I am the light of the world” John 8:12

February- Hope- “Because he has hoped in me, I will deliver and protect him, because he has known my name.” Psalm 91:14

March- Love of God- “Love the Lord thy God with they whole heart, soul and mind, and with thy whole strength.” Mark 12:30

April- Love of Neighbour- “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12

May- Poverty- “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” Matthew 5:3

June- Purity of Heart- “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

July- Obedience- “You are my friends if you do the things that I command you.” John 15:14

August- Meekness and Humility of Heart- “Learn of me because I am meek and humble of heart.” Matthew 11:29

September- Mortification- “He that hates his life in this world keeps it to life eternal.” John 12:25

October- Recollection and Silence- “Jesus, having dismissed the multitude, went up to a mountain alove to pray.” Matthew 14:23

November- Prayer- “We ought always to pray and not faint.” Luke 18:1

December- Self-Abnegation and love of the Cross- “If anyone will come after me, deny yourselves. Take up the cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

It is not a must to follow this format. When I was working in a parish, I had a similar but different format for the parish. However, if we are to follow the Alphonsian tradition strictly, then we will use the one we have above. We are now in October and it will be good for each of us to reflect on how we are growing in the virtue or recollection and silence. There are times when we really have nothing to say and we try to say something; at such times, chances of saying something wrong is very high. Have you ever seen an old couple, sitting by the sea side, staring at the sea, enjoying each other’s company and saying nothing to each other. They enjoy great peace. There is something really beautiful about this image.


  1. Thank you Fr. I now have a different perspective of virtues. May God bless the work that you do and may He give you the strength to continue.


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