Virtue

For those who have lost their virtue:

When we fall into bad habits and become lax in our practice of virtue, we often need some one who will set us on the right path. At times, we need gentle love that meekly reminds us of who we are called to be, other times we need tough love that kicks us in the back side and warns us of the consequences of our actions.

St. Anthony used both of these techniques to call people back to a virtuous life. Any number of people spoke of seeing St. Anthony appear to them in their dreams in which he told them to go to a priest and confess their sins (often things which they were sure no one knew about). This is an example of his gentle call to conversion.

But other times he was more forceful. Once, he was preaching before a powerful, arrogant bishop. He harshly criticized him for his sinful life style, telling him that if he did not change his ways, he would end up in hell. The bishop turned from his evil ways and sought the peace of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Prayer for oneself:

St. Anthony,
You know how weak I am
and how easily I fall into bad habits.
But I don't want to be this way.
I know that God is calling me to be a better person.
Please intercede for me to God
so that he might shower his grace upon me.
Show me the way to virtue.
Amen.

Prayer for others:

St. Anthony,
____________ seems to have lost his/her way
and fallen into some very bad habits.
God wants him/her to be a better person.
Please intercede for ___________ to God
so that he might shower his grace upon him/her.
Lead _______ back to virtue.
Amen.

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