To say #IamVincent means to live a life of virtue. Actually, it means to live a life of five essential virtues.
Fr. Santiago Azcarate, CM, Religious Advisor to the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in Spain, has written,
Virtue can be seen as the crystallization of good intentions which are often passing and changing. Virtue, then, is more permanent and stable. It defines our manner of being present in the midst of the world and also defines our relationships with others.
He’s right on the mark. “Values” — the good intentions we hold in our hearts — are nothing if they are not made concrete in the life of virtue. These five are held up for the entire Vincentian Family:
Zeal for Souls
Says Father Azcarate:
Virtue, then, defines our Christian being and our lifestyle. Therefore, if, as Montaigne stated, “lifestyle defines the person,” then virtue not only characterizes our spirituality but also our whole personality. Our lifestyle is that which distinguishes us: not simply the manner in which we dress or work or live, but also the spirit that strengthens and animates us. Spirit is impossible to measure or to see, but nonetheless, characterizes us. Therefore, the cultivation of one or another virtue is not an indifferent matter.
Over the next five weeks, we’ll examine each of them with Father Azcarate’s help.