Verity, in Mary Ward’s words, embodies integrity, particularly the profound truth of who we are and what gives meaning to our lives. This is centred fundamentally on the mystery of God. It challenges us to invest our everyday living with value and wholeheartedness, searching for what we know is right and important as people of God. Verity asks us to share our light with others and to provide leadership on the journey of life, as seekers of truth.
This is verity – to do what we have to do well.
Mary Ward’s understanding of freedom was grounded in her sense of a personal relationship with God. She believed that each person has free and open access to God and can find God in the ordinary experiences of each day. This is an inner freedom, accepting of self, open to others and the world, and trusting of life. It acknowledges that personal liberation is essential to human flourishing.
Act not out of fear but solely from love.
Mary Ward’s sense of Justice is integrally grounded in a harmonious and open relationship with God, with other people and with the whole of creation. From a ‘just soul’ she believed, good works would flow. Justice is evident in right relationships, in the search for equality, the protection of human rights and our valuing of human dignity. Informed by Catholic Social Teaching and the gospels, Justice exists in the DNA of our Loreto identity. This commitment is expressed in works of justice and in our active participation in the struggle to bring God’s kingdom to being in our world.
Be seekers of truth and doers of justice.
Sincerity is concerned with our personal honesty and the way in which we hold ourselves in our communications and relationships. Mary Ward’s ideal was that we examine our interior life and know ourselves as God knows us. Sincerity calls us to live authentically, giving expression to our individual creation. True Sincerity requires us to match word and deed and to reflect our inner selves in our outer actions.
We should be such as we appear and appear such as we are.
Felicity is an attitude of mind and a disposition of the heart which manifests itself in a sense of joy and hope, so evident amongst the early Christians. To live with Felicity calls us to embrace optimism and positivity, whilst knowing that true happiness comes from recognising and understanding the complex richness of our inner life and our response to it. A lightness of spirit, good humour and a love of friendship marks Felicity as a unique virtue in our way of being.
Show yourself at all times glad and joyful, for God loves a cheerful giver.