Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cardinal Virtues

I am back after a very long interlude of vacation with my little ones. Now that our regular schedule is back, I can find a few moments of quiet and write my blog. I have to say, I missed it!

I plan to write about the virtues, now forgotten or laugh at, but for those who are willing to rediscover them, it is a great treasure of our Catholic Faith.
Let us start with the Cardinal virtues.

Virtue comes from the Latin word "vir" or man and cardinal from the word "cardo" or hinge. Even the pagans of old had great respect for the virtues. Cicero said "The term virtue is from the word that signifies man; a man's chief quality is fortitude." Can a woman be virtuous as well? Of course, but the way we practice the virtues will be imbued with our own femininity.

The cardinal virtues or human virtues are prudence, fortitude, justice and temperance. All the other moral virtues repose on these four. Wisdom 8:7 says "If anyone loves righteousness, wisdom's labors are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice and courage."

According to the CCC (1809-1810), the human virtues are acquired by "education, by deliberate acts and by a perseverance ever-renewed in repeated efforts are purified and elevated by divine grace".

With God's grace, we are called to strive deliberately, repeatedly to acquire the cardinal virtues and the other moral virtues. The goal of acquiring the virtues is to do good and as St. Gregory of Nyssa said "The goal of the virtuous life is the become like God".