When we willingly make a sacrifice for someone, we open our hearts towards that person. When we make a sacrifice, we move other things, other thoughts, out of the way. This enables a clear channel between us and that other person.
On the first Friday of each month we open our home to our friends, neighbors and people from church who want to come over and play table games. Last night was game night at our house. Our living room and kitchen were filled with food, tables, chairs, games, and people. It was a lot of fun.
During the earlier part of the night I had been playing another game. After that game ended, I looked around at what the others in the room were playing to see if there was some game I could join.
It could be said that practicing the virtues cause growth, but it goes deeper than that. Just practicing the virtues can make us just as legalistic as following the law. For us to truly grow we must take the spirit of the virtues within us. We must look at the meaning and the intent of the virtues. This is more that us taking the virture inside of and saying, for instance, I love people. For us to truly have love in our lives, we must become love. Just as God is love, we also must be love. (This applies to all the virtues .....) What does this mean practically?
In some ways, finding the truth is relatively simple. We just find out things as they are. In some ways finding the truth is complex because we often have to do a lot of inner work (finding and correcting our defects of character the prevent us from seeing the truth.)
Grace is like having a savings account. None of us lives this life perfectly. We all make mistakes. Graces us a measure of a cushion to get up and try again.