Building Catholic Character in Students: Gain Mastery over Yourself

catholic book character

The Catholic Book of Character and Success: Chapter Notes

Chapter Twenty-Six: Gain Mastery over Yourself.

  • It is said, the greatest victory achievable is victory over oneself.
  • Many of the greatest conquerors like Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon subdued nations yet failed to conquer themselves.
  • They were often brought down by their own passions and weaknesses.
  • One difficulty in self conquest is the resistance to inflicting suffering on ourselves.
  • There are often parts of our character that are out of equilibrium and can prevent us from fulfilling our best.
  • Find the culprits and root them out.
  • Attack the predominant faults with self discipline and self-denial until you become master of them rather than them of you.
  • Passions must be bridled. Like wild horses they are useless unless they can be trained to discipline, when they can be a help rather than a hindrance.
  • The key to success in this area is found in daily acts of self discipline and self-denial.
  • If prone to quick anger, practice acts of patience and generosity with those around you.
  • If debilitated by sloth, practice punctuality and activity rather than being brought low by lethargy. Look out for when tempted to shirk duties and responsibilities and resist by engaging the will and discipline to action.
  • If naturally proud, look for opportunities to control your temper when slights or insults come your way. Likewise avoid self promotion and boastfulness, when tempted to show off.
  • The beach that stops the ocean, is comprised of a multitude of tiny grains of sand that together form an unbreakable barrier. Likewise our endless little actions of self-discipline and self-denial form the stoutest defences against the evils that would break our characters.
  • Forming such virtuous habits, sets the person up for a life that pure, earnest and serviceable for the love of God and service of man.
  • Merely wanting this mastery of oneself is not enough. Practising the daily actions of virtue so that they become habitual is fundamental to success.

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