The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines, “A Virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends towards the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions. The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God” (CCC 1803).
Virtues, that are disposition of intellect and will to do good, are known as Human Virtues and Theological Virtues. Human Virtues are firm attitudes and dispositions of the intellect and will, that govern and direct our actions according to faith (Cf. CCC 1804). They are the fruit of the morally good acts. The human virtues that are also called Cardinal Virtues are: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance.
- Prudence: It is right intellectual disposition to choose the good in every circumstance. St. Thomas says that it is the right reason in action.
- Justice: It is the firm will to give their due to God and to the neighbor.
- Fortitude: It is the firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It helps one to resist temptations, to overcome fear, particularly fear of death and enables one to face trials.
- Temperance: helps the senses to control the passions so as to direct and enable the will to choose the good.
Theological Virtues are those, that dispose us to live our life in relationship with God. They are in fact, infused by God into our souls to make us capable of living as God’s children (Cf. CCC 1813). There are three theological virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity.
- Faith: It inspires us to believe in God, believe in all he has revealed, particularly in the Bible and believe that which is proclaimed by the Church for our belief.
- Hope: It empowers us to place our trust in the promises of Jesus Christ and strengthens us to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit than on our own strength.
- Charity: It is the virtue by which we love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
Let us be led by the Holy Spirit and grow in Virtues and thus lead a holy life, so as to be worthy of God’s children.
God bless you
Fr. Arul Joseph V.