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Head of School Update: Monday December 17, 2018

Dear JH Classical Academy Parents, 

The virtue of temperance was our focus this month. Temperance is often defined as “saying or doing the right thing at the appropriate time” or the “golden mean” that helps us determine how far we can act on our desires. Unlike the theological virtues, which are gifts from God through grace, the cardinal virtues are the foundation of natural morality and require practice, perseverance, patience, and prayer.

Three weeks ago, I read the students excerpts from C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, in which the White Witch beguiles Edmond with Turkish Delight.  Edmond’s desires overtake him so powerfully that he continues to choose Turkish Delight, even after he realizes it will enslave him and jeopardize his siblings Lucy, Peter, and Susan. Edmond’s inability to reign in his desires takes his agency away, until Aslan steps in to rescue him.
 
The apostle James advises us: “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for a man of wrath does not produce the righteousness of God.” Even though it seems counter-intuitive, restraint can actually guide us to reach our goals. For example, when we compete in sports, our goal is to win. Yet winning requires listening to your coach, playing within the boundaries, and showing consistent sportsmanship. Winning often requires restraint.
 
 Does temperance mean we should not have passion? No! True temperance means following our passions, but letting them first be directed by seeking God’s Kingdom and God’s will. In the Lord’s Prayer each morning at JH Classical Academy we pray, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done.” Temperance comes in discerning what is our will, what is God will, and having the courage to follow the path that “produces the righteousness of God.”
 
Augustine struggled with temperance in his life, especially as child, teenager, and young man. When he finally sought to give his life to God his passions were redirected and reshaped. He captured this beautifully in his ConfessionsYou touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is Yours.” Augustine was set on fire by God! His flame was a force for positive change in the world. 
 
Temperance consists in keeping our desires within the limits of what is right and good and experiencing freedom. We often ask what we should be free from. But the better question to ask is, what should we be free for? What a beautiful season to stop and ponder what path we might take today to bless others today.
 
I am so looking forward to our Ceremony of Carols on Wednesday, December 19 at Walk Festival Hall at 5:30 PM. Please invite your friends and family to come celebrate with us!
 
 
Mrs. Polly J. Friess
Head of School
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Jackson Hole Classical Academy
P.O. Box 7466
Jackson, WY 83002
 
Enrollment Inquiries:
Polly Friess
(307) 690-8396
 
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(307) 201-5040
 
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