VIRTUEIt comes from the Latin virtus, meaning “courage” or “bravery,” especially that of a soldier.Virtus is derived from vir which means “man.” Hence, literally speaking, “virtue” means “manliness.”
VIRTUEIt is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good.It allows the person not only to perform good acts but also to give the best of himself/herself.
VIRTUEIn ethics, virtue signifies a habit inclining one to think and act correctly, to follow what is right, and to avoid evil.
VIRTUESt. Augustine defines virtue as a “good quality of the mind by which one lives rightly, which no one uses badly, and which God works in us.”
VIRTUE St. Thomas Aquinas explains that virtue is a habit that is good; it perfects the power of the soul and inclines one to do good.
VIRTUEThree key ideas inAristotle’s definition:1. Virtue is a state of character.2. Virtue makes humans good.3. Virtue makes humans do their work well.
CHRISTIAN VIRTUE It does not center on the human person but has its source in the Holy Spirit with His transforming grace. It consists in conformity to the image of Christ and in the “new creature” created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Catechism of the CatholicChurch (CCC) classifiesvirtues as…Theological virtues- faith, hope, and love.Human or moral virtues- prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.
THEOLOGICAL VIRTUE Its immediate object is God. It disposes Christians to live in a relationship with the Triune God.
1. VIRTUE OF FAITH We believe in God and all that He has said and revealed to us- and that the Holy Church proposes for our belief- because He is truth Himself.
1. VIRTUE OF FAITH Vatican II’s document Dei Verbum states that by faith one freely commits his/her entire self to God (#5).
1. VIRTUE OF FAITH “All however must be prepared to confess Christ before men and to follow Him along the way of the Cross, amidst the persecutions which the Church never lacks.” (LG 42)
1. VIRTUE OF FAITHThe first step to faith is to understand the credibility of God- the God revealed in history and in Jesus Christ.
2. VIRTUE OF HOPEWe desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our strength but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.
3. VIRTUE OF LOVE It enables us to love God above everything for his own sake and to love our neighbor as God loves us. This is the virtue which perfectly binds together all other virtues. We cannot work for justice without love. To be just is to be loving and vice versa.
1. Prudence Is good common sense. “Right reason in action” –St. Thomas A. Helps us to discover what is good in every situation & helps us to choose the right ways of achieving it. A prudent person always seeks the most loving & just thing to do in a given circumstance.
PrudenceThe exercise of conscience is always guided by PRUDENCE.It is the capacity for DISCERNMENT.It formulates & imposes the correct dictates of reason.“What is the best way for me, in this situation, to do the right thing?”The prudent person must investigate the situation & take counsel from others.
Prudence presupposes the ff. qualities:Knowledge of moral principlesAbility to make rational inferencesVision or foresightAbility to weigh circumstancesAbility to anticipate obstacles & plan to surmount them.Ability to decide.
2. FortitudeGives us the firmness, strength, & courage to deal with temptations, difficulties, & dangers in doing what is right and true.It is spiritual courage to do what is right, helping us conquer fear, even of death in defending a just cause.
3. TemperanceModerates the attraction of pleasures & provides balance in the use of created goods.Is the virtue that enables us to control our appetites for these goods (food, drink, sexual pleasure…) & use them in God-intended ways.We develop this virtue by acts of self-denial.
4. The Virtue of JusticeIt is the moral &cardinal virtue bywhich we giveGod & ourneighbor what istheir due byright.
References/Sources: CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH A PILGRIM’S NOTES by Fr. Fausto Gomez, O.P.