Choose a topic from Part 2A:

62. The Theological Virtues

1. The supernatural virtues which guide and direct us toGod are called theological virtues. These are faith, hope,charity.

2. These theological virtues are not acquired by any actor effort of man. They are supernaturally infused; theyare poured into the soul by almighty God. The existence and natureof these virtues are made known to us by divine revelation. Hencethese virtues are essentially distinct from the moral andintellectual virtues. The theological virtues are supernaturallyinfused; the moral and intellectual virtues are acquired. And wemust be careful to distinguish the supernatural theological virtuesof faith, hope, and charity, from the natural virtues which areknown by the same names.

3. St. Paul says (I Cor. 13:13), "Now, there remainfaith, hope, charity, these three." Faith enlightensthe intellect by imparting knowledge of supernatural truths.Hope directs the will to its supernatural last end as tosomething that requires effort and cooperation with grace, but assomething attainable. Charity unites the will with God,its end and object; charity sets the soul into the love andfriendship of God.

4. The three supernatural virtues called theologicalvirtues are all infused into the soul as habits; they are infusedby almighty God; they are infused together at one and the sameinstant. Yet in the operation of these virtues we discern priority:faith gives knowledge which arouses hope, and hope tends to set upunion with the end desired. Thus faith precedes hope, and hopeprecedes charity. But on the score of perfection, charity comesfirst, for it is more noble and valuable to embrace the desiredobject than merely to know it or hope for it. Says St. Paul(loc. cit.), "Now, there remain faith, hope, charity,these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

"Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it."
St Philip Neri

* * *

"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

* * *

"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

* * *