Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas – and books

Books that have been a big help to me

My battered copy of Isaacs’ classic

For a Doctrinal Homily Outline for the Fourth Sunday of Advent and for links to the five outlines for the five different Masses for Christmas, please click here and then scroll down.

To have a little something to share with you, along with your homiletic link, I thought I’d present a book each week that I have found exceptionally helpful in living the Catholic life.

The first is what I consider a classic by David Isaacs called Character Building – a guide for parents and teachers. It was first published in 1976.

While Isaacs’ book is not theological per se, it is human, which makes it deeply Catholic. Isaacs presents twenty-four human virtues and then makes practical suggestions about when and how parents and teachers can help their children or students develop them.

Isaacs book is how I first learned there was such a thing as virtues. This began for me an adult-life-long quest to start living them myself and then trying to help our own children, my students, my fellow teachers, then teachers who worked under my authority, and most importantly, parents and prospective parents, to learn about virtues with the aim of living and teaching them.

To give you just a taste of Isaac’s book, here is his definition of the virtue of orderliness:

An orderly person follows a logical procedure which is essential for the achievement of any goal he sets himself—in organizing his things, using his time, carrying out his activities on his own initiative, without having to be constantly reminded.

Some children seem to learn to be organized very early and greatly benefit from this virtue, especially as students. Others take a long time to learn it and have hard going.

One of my own contributions to virtue education is this student text.

Image if everyone tried to live all the human virtues all the time, or at least the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. How different our world would be.

I can’t say I’ve been very successful in living or teaching the human virtues, but I’ve done better than if I had never tried. So can each one of us.



, ,




One response to “Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas – and books”

  1. Richard R Houwing Avatar
    Richard R Houwing

    Sounds great. I’ll pick up a copy and give you some feedback.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *