What is virtue?
To deepen our faith let us to learn from the teaching of the church contained in the catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), on Christian virtues.
- What is virtue? (1803, 1833)
A virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good. “The goal of a virtuous life is to become like GOD” (Saint Gregory of Nyssa).There are human virtues and theological virtues.
- What are the human virtues? (1804, 1810-1811, 1834, 1839)
The human virtues are habitual and stable perfection of the intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They are acquired and strengthened by the repetition of morally good acts and they are purified and elevated by divine grace.
- What are the principal human virtues? (1805, 1839)
The principal human virtues are called the cardinal virtues, under which all the other virtues are grouped and which are the hinges of a virtuous life. The cardinal virtues are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.
- What is prudence? (1806, 1835)
Prudence disposes reason to discern in every circumstance out true good and to choose the right means for achieving it. Prudence guides the other virtues by pointing out their rule and measure.
- What is justice? (1807, 1836)
Justice consists in the firm and constant will to give to others their due. Justice toward GOD is called lithe virtue of religion.”
- What is fortitude? (1808, 1837)
Fortitude assures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It reaches even to the ability of possibly sacrificing one’s own life for a just cause.
- What is temperance? (1809, 1838)
Temperance moderates the attraction of pleasures, assures mastery of the will over instincts and provides balance in the use of created goods.
- What are the theological virtues? (1812-1813, 1840-1841)
The theological virtues have GOD himself as their origin, motive and direct object. Infused with sanctifying grace, they bestow on one the capacity to live in a relationship with the trinity. They are the foundation and the energizing force of the Christians moral activity and they give life to the human virtues. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being.
- What is the virtue of faith? (1814-1816, 1842)
Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in GOD and all that he has revealed to us and that the church proposes for our belief because GOD is Truth itself. By faith the human person freely commits himself to GOD. Therefore, the believer seeks to know and do the will of GOD because “faith works through charity” (Galatians 5:6).
- What is hope? (1817-1821, 1843)
Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire and await from God eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit to merit it and to persevere to the end of our earthly life.
- What is charity? (1822-1829, 1844)
Charity is the theological virtue by which we love GOD above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of GOD. Jesus makes charity the new commandment, the fullness of the law. Lilt is the bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:14) and the foundation of the other virtues to which it gives life, inspiration, and order. Without charity “I am nothing “and “I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Let Us Pray
Lord GOD, open our hearts to your grace. Let it go before us and be with us, that we may always be intent upon doing your will. Through Christ our Lord.Amen.