Following Christ with a sense of moderation

Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick posts videos of her reflections each week at the Facebook of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great.
View them at:

This is a transcript of her Aug. 23, 2019 reflection and is Part 8 of her “Fruits of the Holy Spirit” series.


Glory to Jesus Christ!
I remember a distinct moment in eighth grade when Sister Basil, at the beginning of the school year, said to us, “Please know that I pray for you every day.”

Then she said something shocking. She said, “In my prayers, I pray any of you that do something wrong will be caught immediately.”

Wow, that surprised us. But she said, “Well, it makes sense. The sooner you are caught, the sooner you may change your ways toward the better.”

Actually, a couple of guys in that class didn’t get the message and they ended up in prison.

The point is the Fruit of the Spirit I want to talk about today, which is “self-control.”
This is the moderation that all of us are taught as we are being disciplined as children. We can talk in a restaurant, but we don’t scream. You can’t talk in church, you can only whisper. In this, we are learning the boundaries, the parameters that society expects of us.

That’s the truth with our Christian faith as well. How do we live as Christ’s followers with a sense of moderation?
One of the things is that we don’t put our trust in riches, in material things. And we don’t put our trust in becoming proud, in becoming the most important in the world or any such thing.

So, there’s moderation even in this. In religious life, we actually take a vow of poverty so that simplicity of life, a holding of goods together, becomes our way of life.

The same thing with obedience. We take a vow of obedience so that life isn’t about me and my self-determination all the time. Because we live in community, this is guided together with others and our leadership.

The next time we’ll talk about chastity as another element of this God-directed life.
Remember, it’s self-control. One hint that helps: if we keep giving in to less self-control, we can recognize that we may be headed in the wrong direction in something.

Pray for this Fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is so useful and helpful to us in living a virtuous and, therefore, a happy life.

God bless you.