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"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." ~ Phillipians 4:13
“Let no one look down on you because of your youth. But be a continuing example of love, faith, and purity to believers.” 1Timothy 4:12
The F.O.C.U.S. theme for the 8th grade is intended to encourage initiative in the students and challenge them to be all that God wants them to be. To help us as parents and teachers do this, let’s break down F.O.C.U.S. and see how it relates to virtue and spiritual growth.
F FRIENDSHIP – one attached to another by respect or affections.
Aristotle said that the goal of virtue is friendship. St. Thomas Aquinas agreed with this, but he explained that the Theological virtues faith, hope and love (charity) take friendship to another level. Ultimately, the goal of virtue is friendship with God. If there is friendship with God there will be friendship with each other.
O OPPORTUNITY – a chance for advancement (rise in value).
Having good values is great, but the struggle of morality kids face as they grow up is not as much knowing what is right as it is “doing” what is right. To be a morally good person takes having the strength (fortitude) to “will” what is right, not just “value” what is good. “A virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good.” (Catechism no. 1803)
C CHRISTIAN FAITH – belief and trust in Christ.
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. Often God calls us to do more than is humanly possible, but He never leaves us alone to do it. “For with God nothing is impossible.” Luke 1:37. They must put their trust in Our Heavenly Father, and then work as hard as they can at everything they do. They can reach for the stars. The virtue of faith is not just a matter of the mind; it is a habit of the heart.
U UNITY – oneness; joined by a moral bond in fellowship
That, as a class, they may overcome conflicts and selfishness and find complete reconciliation and peace. And in doing so, accomplish great things together. “That they travel their path together in joy, shared trust, and with a spirit of cooperation.” John Paul II
S SELF-RESPECT – consider deserving of high regard toward oneself; self-value; self-worth; self-esteem; integrity-adhering to a code of values.
Again, we are back to values and virtues. The values they live by must be supplemented by the virtues-the skills for successful, moral living.