On this All Saints’ Day let us pray for our own Br. James Miller, whose beatification process is underway. I encourage you to read more about Br. James and his beatification process here.
A theme around our home lately has been the topic of self-control. The conversations and discussions regarding self-control started after Dr. Leonard Sax spoke in early October at St. Dominic. Dr. Sax shared some research that the greatest predictor of wealth, health, and happiness at age 32 is the level of self-control being demonstrated at age 12. He cited evidence that a boy who can demonstrate self-control at age 12 will have a higher chance of obtaining wealth, good health, and happiness at age 32. For those of us with boys older than 12, all hope is not lost. Dr. Sax gave us some practical strategies to develop self-control in our teenage boys. Limiting screen time, doing chores, and learning virtue are all easy ways for boys to begin developing self control.
I offer you the writing of St. Paul: In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ [Jesus] have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25).
St. Paul exhorts us to deny ourselves of our desires to accomplish holiness, which is a counter-cultural message to what our boys experience. On this All Saints’ Day (November 1) we are reminded of people who led our Church, such as Br. James Miller, through their example and reliance upon the Holy Spirit and these men and women most likely developed some degree of self control in their own lives. So, I encourage you to be patient with your son(s) as they go through adolescence. I believe self control is much like a muscle and the more we use self control the stronger we will become at denying ourselves of our earthly desires. And, we too, can become saints!