Trust in Him

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Virtues and the Practice of Them

A virtuous person is one who habitually does good works and behaves in a holy manner. Jesus was the perfect example of virtue, and His life on earth radiated virtue like a flower gives off its lovely scent. He was good and kind, compassionate and loving, just and industrious.. every virtue found a place in Him. He wishes us to live our lives like this, for us to be Christ-like and filled with the radiating beauty of good. Thus it is important to know and understand virtue as we live our daily vocations.

Many things unite to increase virtue in us. One of these is grace, a gift of God that jump-starts us on the way of goodness. Perhaps the first gift God gives us is the ability to love Him, and to love Him with a clean heart. Love is certainly the most fertile soil for growth in virtue... for one who loves already has virtuous intentions. It brings us close to God, and when we are close to God we are holy. If there is holiness within us, our words and actions will reflect this holiness and show great virtue. But before one reaches this state of involuntary virtue stemming from unconditional love, he must put some effort into voluntary virtue. By practicing virtue, and praying for virtue, we are capable of approaching this Christlike state through our actions.

As I have said, love causes virtue to grow. Likewise, kindness is a virtue from which other virtues spring. By showing kindness to our neighbor, we are exhibiting humility, self-denial, compassion, love, etc. We should always make use of whatever circumstances possible to be kind... because Jesus has a special place in His heart for those who are kind and will help them to be good in other ways.

Humility is the virtue which refuses to admit virtue. In his constant realization of the greatness and goodness of God, one who has the virtue of humility is constantly seeking to be more perfect and more Christlike for God's sake. Such a person is capable of recognizing his own qualities only insomuch as they are God-given gifts. He also views the souls of others as priceless and beautiful, seeing Christ reflected in them. He is often moved to kindness to others and loves God ardently. If one has many virtues but does not have humility, then he will find that his virtue does him no good spiritually and is not really virtue at all, but good works stemming from selfish motives.

If we live the virtues, desire them, and ask for them... if we view them as a simple part of living... then we will certainly find that we grow in holiness and love of God and our neighbor. We will find that our spiritual lives are capable of delving deeper into the Mystery of Christ's Goodness, and that our actions are becoming more and more Christlike. This is not something to neglect, or to wait to happen, virtue should be openly pursued. Choose virtues to work on and practice them daily. The gifts that a virtuous person receives are many... including love, understanding of self, empathy, and closeness to Christ.

The Virtues and the Practice of Them
The Theological Virtues

Faith-the virtue by which we firmly believe all the truths God has revealed, on the word of God revealing them, who can neither deceive, nor be deceived

Hope-means by which we firmly trust that God, Who is all powerful and faithful to His promises, in His mercy will give us eternal happiness and the means to attain it

Charity-virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for our love of Him

Cardinal Virtues

Prudence-disposes us in all circumstances to form right judgments

Justice-disposes us to give everyone what belongs to him

Fortitude-disposes us to do what is good in spite of any difficulty

Temperance-disposes us to control our desire and to use rightly the things which please our senses

Moral Virtues

Religion-disposes us to offer God the worship that is due Him

Filial piety and patriotism-dispose us to honor, love, and respect our parents and our country

Obedience-disposes us to do the will of our superiors

Veracity-disposes us to tell the truth

Liberality-disposes us to rightly use worldly goods

Patience-disposes us to bear up under trials and difficulties

Humility-disposes us to acknowledge our limitations

Chastity, or Purity-disposes us to be pure in soul and body

No comments:

Post a Comment