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Gentleness, Patience, and the Ability to Bear With One Another in Love…
I [Paul], then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received…” With these words, Paul addresses the church in Ephesus with both love and good advice. What kinds of virtues are necessary for us to develop in order to live in a manner worthy of our calling in Christ? Inspired as he is by the Holy Spirit, Paul is never short of answers for us. The first virtue he tells us is necessary for living in the manner of our calling is, humility. Is this not the prime virtue? Of the seven deadly sins, pride is the vice from which all of the other vices (greed, anger, jealousy, lust, gluttony and sloth) descend. The opposite of pride is humility. It is the virtue that heals us from pride and all of the other vices. Humility is the foundation of true prayer, it is the virtue that points us toward Christ, who is the very model of humility toward the Father. It is this virtue that is often the hardest for us to acquire. Of course we cannot by our own force of will acquire this holy virtue. If it is our will to develop this virtue, though, no matter how small our will might be in the beginning, God, who knows our hearts, will give us every grace we need to succeed. If we continue to deepen our relationship with him in prayer, he will always forgive our failings and continue to encourage us as well. When we develop the habits of humility, the other virtues that Paul mentions in the beginning of chapter 4 in his Letter to the Ephesians, start to fall into place in our daily lives as well. What are these other…