Faith, Hope, and Charity are those superstar virtues that are provided to us by God to enrich and fulfill our lives. They are also those three virtues that we gift directly back to God, because all three, Faith, Hope, and Charity, were designed to have God, our Heavenly Father, as their focus and object. A virtue just can’t get any more connected to God than these three.
So we might know about the Theological Virtues, but I want to suggest some concrete ways to actually practice them.
Faith: From the heart, make a simple Act of Faith. If done sincerely, this is a beautiful prayer that is directed to the One we have Faith in! Another way to show Faith through our day-to-day tasks is to consciously and willingly subject ourselves to obedience of God and what He teaches through His Holy Catholic Church. Perhaps an exercise of Faith for us is simply the spiritual gesture of embracing the Church’s teachings, or maybe it is fulfilling our obligation to go to Sunday Mass. It might be receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation and knowing by Faith that our sins have been forgiven. Faith is our connection to God, but if it is real, it also impacts the way we live.
Hope: Hope is easiest practiced within one’s mental and spiritual disposition. The greatest way to practice the virtue of Hope is to consciously and regularly contemplate our greatest longing and our greatest Hope; that is, the Hope of eternal life. From this deepest longing arises even more Hope, as we then Hope that God will provide us with the daily grace we need for the rest of our lives so as to remain close to Him. Our Hope can also be strengthened by tuning ourselves in to how God has His hand in our world, especially through the good and inspiring efforts and lives of people, such as the Saints. Seeing God present among us gives me immense Hope (just like seeing evil and destruction gives me despair). Remember that Hope is an endless spring that constantly flows from God. We just need to tap into it.
Charity: You might remember that anything we do that is not done in Charity is vain. With that in mind, Charity is theoretically easy to put into concrete practice. It means directing our motivation for doing, acting, and thinking towards the purpose of loving God. So, think about your daily actions: waking up, eating, working, interacting with people, driving, etc. How can these everyday actions be directed to Our Father out of Love? Well, I eat a healthy breakfast because it is a way to honor and Love God by eating the food He has provided for me. I also Love God through the act of eating because it sustains and nourishes my body, which God has entrusted to me to honor as His temple. I feed my children a healthy breakfast for even better reasons; to Love God through loving and sacrificing for other human beings. Consciously practice your Charity in the most ordinary of actions.
I hope this guide has given you some ideas as to how to make Faith, Hope, and Charity more concrete and alive in our lives. These are great to nail down, as they are the life and that extra punch in all the other virtues. Don’t get swamped down by practicing all three at once. Maybe take a week or so to reflect and practice each. Then, by the end of a month, you just may find that you have deepened your Manly connection with God!
~ The Catholic Gentleman's Guide