This is a Test

This post is purely a test. If you received an email about it, congratulations! You’ve correctly followed the blog. If you haven’t… make sure to (1) submit your email in the Follow via Email box on the website and (2) click on the Confirm Follow button in the email WordPress sends to you.

In the meantime, while you’re here, enjoy a video about Ron: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUINFs1Sp94

Have a great weekend, y’all!

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Cardinal and Theological Virtues

fourcardinalvirtues1

WARM-UP:

8/18 – Why, in your personal experience, is virtue so difficult to cultivate and develop?

NOTES:

Today in class, we reviewed the general definition of virtue (with the help of Simone Biles again! Here’s the link to her amazing floor routine if you want to relive the glory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM9TJJi9eWw).

We also began to paint a picture of what virtue looks like, concretely, with the help of Thomas Aquinas’s distinction of the Cardinal and Theological virtues. In order to cultivate virtue, we first need to know what we’re striving for.

The 4 cardinal virtues are Temperance, Fortitude, Justice, and Prudence. These virtues are the 4 central virtues that are the source of all other virtues. The word cardinal comes from the Latin word cardo, or “hinge.” Hence, they are the 4 virtues that all other virtues “hinge” on. (The picture above depicts the 4 cardinal virtues. Extra challenge: see if you can figure out which is which.)

The 3 theological virtues are Faith, Hope, and Charity (Love). The theological virtues are distinct from the cardinal virtues in that they come from God’s grace. They cannot be “earned” or developed through human effort alone – ultimately, Thomas Aquinas argues that faith, hope, and charity come from our openness to God’s grace in our lives. If we desire faith, that desire itself is a gift of grace. If we desire love, that desire for love is already God acting in our lives. Although the theological virtues cannot be earned by human effort, we can still cultivate them by cultivating our openness to God and to the working of God in our life.

No assignment – we will finish talking about each of the individual virtues tomorrow!

Virtue – A Habitual Thing

Simone Biles,Gabrielle Douglas

WARM-UP:

8/16-8/17: Define virtue. Describe a person in your life who you would consider “virtuous.”

NOTES:

The past two days, we spent some glorious time going over the class disclosure and procedures (they’re important for your success in class, but also dull – I recognize that. Thanks for sticking with me!)

However, we have also spent a significant amount of time discussing virtue – what is it? How is it cultivated? What does it look like in the classroom? in the hallway between classes or during lunch? at after-school practices or at home?

Although we all came in with our own notions and ideas of what virtue is, I suggested St. Thomas Aquinas’s definition of “a habitual and firm disposition to do the good.” Within this definition, we can see that virtue is a habit, not a one-time action. The word “firm” also makes us think of this idea – like a habit, virtue is something that is deeply engrained in us, so much so that we automatically revert to it in any situation (think Simone Biles – no matter where she is, what routine she is doing doing, she always performs with the same trained movements developed over years of practice!). We also see that virtue is a certain disposition, or way of being. Therefore, virtue is something that we are, not something we do. Lastly, virtue is always oriented toward the good – of ourselves, of others, and of all things (society, creation, even material things).

Given this definition of virtue, it seems like the only way to live more virtuously (and more beautifully and joyfully) is to actually practice virtue. As Aristotle writes in his Nichomachean Ethics, “We are what we repeatedly do.Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Our actions shape who we become, both good and bad.

In this class, everyone will be encouraged to strive for excellence. Everyone will be asked to strive to be a virtuous person who does everything for the glory of God (including your teacher!). Everyone (including your teacher!), at one point or another, will falter and fail, but know that this classroom community will be there to encourage you to keep striving.

 

Welcome to Sacraments!

Hello all!

Welcome to the website for our Sacraments class. I will be using this blog to help organize our course and help you work to your best potential. There will be daily updates with class lectures, notes, readings, and assignments to help you succeed in class. I will also occasionally post simple “Points of Interest” posts to share any beautiful, intriguing, or fun theological tangents that might help you dig deeper into our class material. My hope is that, with these resources available to you, you can stay accountable for your work, participate to your highest level, and enjoy what we do in class together.

In order to make this website as effective for you as possible, I would like each of you to follow it via email. By clicking on the Follow button to the left of the screen, you will register to automatically receive email alerts every time there is a new blog, assignment, or reading posted. This will help you keep track of the class as we go through the semester and make certain that you don’t miss any assignments or readings. Please register by Monday afternoon for 5 pts. credit.

If you need a copy of the class disclosure, you can find it under the Assignments + Readings tab in the top menu. Please bring your signed disclosure to class by Thursday – no exceptions. It will be considered late anytime after class on Thursday and docked 20% (a mere 2 pts. this time but don’t start off on the wrong foot!)

Also, if you would like to follow our class’s Twitter page, I will be posting updates to @JMCHSKuczynski throughout the semester. Feel free to share any theology-related things you find with the class by tagging our class in a tweet. (Proper Internet etiquette applies, as always.)

That’s all for now. I’m looking forward to spending this semester with you all!

– Mr. Kuczynski