Hope and Change. Hope is a grace given by God to those of us who ask for help. Change is a circumstance. Place a hopeful person in a circumstance and and something wonderful can happen. Hope* is the first of the Heroic Virtues - those qualities that make us good people.
Just out of jail, a recovering alcoholic is being hailed a good Samaritan.
Alexis Ortiz found a wallet at the Mobil gas station at Walton and Sashabaw in Waterford yesterday.
Inside the wallet was enough cash to tempt even the most honest person: $1,000 in cash, credit cards and a man's identification.
The Ortiz family is struggling, but this father of seven did the right thing and called police.
A man in Detroit, father of seven, ex-con and a recovering alcoholic was at a Mobile gas station and found a wallet stuffed with cash amounting to about $ 1,000. For any man with seven children that is a live-changing amount of dough, but for a guy who gave up the sauce after getting out of jail, that is some circumstance.
Alexis Oritz is blessed with Hope. This we know because he passed the test of circumstance -Summa Cum Laude.
Merry Christmas Alexis! Thank You for this Christmas Gift of Heroic Virtue writ large!
* The Heroic Virtues - 2,000 years of them:
Hope is a firm trust that God will give us eternal life and all the means necessary to obtain it; it attains heroicity when it amounts to unshakeable confidence and security in God's help throughout all the untoward events of life, when it is ready to forsake and sacrifice all other goods in order to obtain the promised felicity of heaven. Such hope has its roots in a faith equally perfect. Abraham, the model of the faithful, is also the model of the hopeful "who against hope believed in hope. . .and he was not weak in faith; neither did he consider his own body now dead . . . nor the dead womb of Sara" (Romans 4:18-22).
Charity inclines man to love God above all things with the love of friendship. The perfect friend of God says with St. Paul: "With Christ I am nailed to the cross. And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:19-20). For love means union. Its type in heaven is the Divine Trinity in Unity; its highest degree in God's creatures is the beatific vision, i.e. participation in God's life. On earth it is the fruitful mother of holiness, the one thing necessary, the one all-sufficient possession. It is extolled in 1 Corinthians 13, and in St. John's Gospel and Epistles; the beloved disciple and the fiery missionary of the cross are the best interpreters of the mystery of love revealed to them in the Heart of Jesus. With the commandment to love God above all Jesus coupled another: "And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:31). The likeness, or the linking of the two commandments, lies in this: that in our neighbor we love God's image and likeness, His adopted children and the heirs of His Kingdom. Hence, serving our neighbor is serving God. And the works of spiritual and temporal mercy performed in this world will decide our fate in the next: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom. . .For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat. . . Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:34-40). For this reason the works of charity in heroic degree have been, from the beginning to this day, a distinctive mark of the Catholic Church, the pledge of sanctity in countless numbers of her sons and daughters.
Prudence, which enables us to know what to desire or to avoid, attains heroicity when it coincides with the "gift of counsel", i.e. a clear, Divinely aided insight into right and wrong conduct. Of St. Paschasius Radbert, the Bollandists say: "So great was his prudence that from his mind a bourn of prudence seemed to flow. For he beheld together the past, the present, and the future, and was able to tell, by the counsel of God, what in each case was to be done" (2 January, c.v, n.16).
Justice, which gives every one his due, is the pivot on which turn the virtues of religion, piety, obedience, gratitude, truthfulness, friendship, and many more. Jesus sacrificing His life to give God His due, Abraham willing to sacrifice his son in obedience to God's will, these are acts of heroic justice.
Fortitude, which urges us on when difficulty stands in the way of our duty, is itself the heroic element in the practice of virtue; it reaches its apex when it overcomes obstacles which to ordinary virtue are insurmountable.
Temperance, which restrains us when passions urge us to what is wrong, comprises becoming deportment, modesty, abstinence, chastity, sobriety, and others. Instances of heroic temperance: St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist.