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Friday, 02 March 2018 21:00

Selflessness vs. Selfishness

abnegacion egoismo

These may seem like little things, but sometimes they can be very hard to do. But have courage! God, seeing your good intention, is going to help you out.

These are more thoughts on virtues that Sr. Clare prepared in 2008 for a summer camp in the US. Sr. Clare never thought that they would be published. They were just ideas to be able to speak to the campers. However, they are full of practical advice for our battle for holiness. This time, Sr. Clare explains how to grow in the virtue of selflessness and to fight against selfishness. As she says, “Remember we are soldiers in the ‘Fight for Holiness.’ The battle is on: Virtue vs. Vice. Who will win today? Selflessness or selfishness? It’s up to you…

The Virtue of selflessness is: the quality of putting other people's needs before one's own. Self-less, to think less of oneself and more on others. The opposite of this virtue is selfishness and it means being self centered: thinking too much on myself, on what I want, what I need…

How can we practice this virtue in the H.M Summer camp?

A lot of people need to use the bathroom in the morning, not only you. The one who is trying to practice selflessness will not fight to get into the bathroom first but will let the other go before her. When she is in the shower she doesn’t take 30 minutes because she knows that others are waiting.

At breakfast time she and another girl in her team stretch out their hand to grab the last bagel. Trying not to be selfish and taking what she wants for herself, this girl forgetting about herself and not complaining, lets the other girl have the bagel. After of course, she doesn’t go and tell all the Sisters and her monitor the act of virtue that she just made. If she did so it wouldn’t be virtue. God saw what she did and that’s enough.

When Miss Neva says that she can only take 15 girls on the last boat trip, you really want to go. There is one more space in the boat and two girls- you and another girl. If you jumped on the boat and said to the other girl “hey there’s always tomorrow, chao” that would be pretty selfish. What would the Saint do? What should you do?

When it’s time for arts and crafts, everyone wants to make their craft pretty and there is a tendency to pick the best thing that is being offered for MY craft. Selflessness as we said at the start is the quality of putting other people before myself. If you see that other girls like the blue beads that you’re using for the craft then don’t try and take all of them for yourself. If you do this you’re not practicing the virtue.

For the first couple of days it was fun singing when we were at the table, but now you don’t feel like singing anymore. Actually, it’s driving you crazy. When the other table sing “ We love Jesus yes we do, we love Jesus how about you? ” and they point to your table instead of standing up and shouting back “Can y’all just put a sock in it!!!”, you remember that the virtue for today is selflessness you smile and at the top of your lungs you sing back. There is another girl in your group who’s having a rough time and isn’t feeling like a “happy camper,” but seeing you and your example, she also tries to practice the virtue.

The day can be filled with little acts of selflessness. Eating what I don’t like, or eating everything on my plate, doing my chore well or helping others if they need it, participating in everything without complaining… These may seem like little things, but sometimes they can be very hard to do. But have courage! God, seeing your good intention, is going to help you out. This is what holiness is all about, practicing virtues so that we can be more like Our Lord.
When we need a model of selflessness, we can look at Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Her selfless service has been a great example for many people all over the world.

Remember we are soldiers in the “Fight for Holiness.” The battle is on: Virtue vs. Vice. Who will win today? Selflessness or selfishness? It’s up to you….

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