How do families become alive with goodness? One way to become fully alive as a healthy, loving, family is by praying together. But I would like to draw your attention to another way we can make our families thrive in Christ - and that is by living a virtuous life together. How do we achieve a virtuous life together as a family?
Well, first by making a commitment to entertaining kinder thoughts and expressing goodness in our interactions. There is an ocean of goodness in everyone, but we don’t always see it.
Although each child is born with the seeds of God’s precious gift of goodness, using this gift does not always come naturally. We must develop and nurture it as we grow. We start in our families, where we see it expressed in the interactions we have with each other. And we extend our expression of it as we move out into our larger communities.
Research at Harvard University shows that typically a person needs six times the number of positive comments for every negative one to believe the truth of their own goodness.
One teacher in a high school class asked the students to write on a piece of paper one good thing that they saw in each of their classmates. Then the teacher collected the comments without the names of the writers, compiled the comments for each targeted student, and distributed them to those students. Reading so many positive comments from their classmates made the class members feel better about themselves.
We easily get in the habit of focusing on what is wrong with us instead of on the seeds of goodness God has sown in us.
The more we nurture goodness and express it with thoughts and expressions of love, compassion, forgiveness, generosity, and understanding, we just unconsciously crowd negative thoughts and comments out of our daily interactions with other members of our families. If you are carrying negative thoughts now, they can be replaced with good ones. The seeds for them have already been sown in our hearts by our Creator. Then we can express our good thoughts with good actions in our families.
You can watch this video on cardinal and theological virtues to get a better understanding of these virtues and why they are so important: Click Here
About Father Pinto Paul, C.S.C.
Father Pinto Paul C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1999, worked with tribal populations in northeast India as a missionary for ten years. In 2010 he came to the US for further studies. While working as a campus minister at Stonehill College, he assisted pastors in local parishes, led seminars and workshops for teachers and students in the US and earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University, Cambridge. He is currently working as the International Director of the Boston-based Holy Cross Family Ministries with missions in 17 countries.