Temperance is the ability to be moderate in our actions, words and habits. It is the ability to exercise restraint, to hold back within limits, especially regarding feelings and appetites. It helps us be balanced in our lives, thus avoiding extremes. It is using self-control.
St. Paul gives us his insight into this virtue:
"Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do
it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the
air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching
to others I myself should be disqualified." 1 Cor. 9:25 - 27
Just as an athlete disciplines himself to reach his goal, so must we. A temperate lady chooses to control the urge to eat the extra piece of cake when she is full. She controls the urge to respond with a snide remark when ridiculed. She forms the habit of setting aside time for prayer each day and fits it into her schedule in a realistic way. If she is a mother of little ones she recognizes that five minutes of prayer is what she can spare and does not feel guilty that it is not more. She recognizes that someday she will have more time, but now her state in life requires her to give her time to the little ones. A temperate lady also sets aside time in her busy schedule to relax and have fun, avoiding the temptation to become a workaholic.
By contrast the intemperate lady eats without restraint or speaks her mind without caring about the impact of her words. She may not include time in her day to pray and may fill her day with many fun activities and does her chores, homework or duties halfheartedly. She may also have developed some bad habits that need to be modified or eliminated.
Our challenge this month, ladies, then, it to take a good look at ourselves and see if there is a way of acting or speaking or a bad habit that is out of balance in our lives. We may need to ask Our Lord to help us recognize it. The we can as Him to give us the wisdom and desire to become more temperate in that area and begin to do so. Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.