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67. Duration of Virtues After this Life

1. When a good man dies, do moral virtues remain in theseparated soul? Justice remains, for (Wisd. 1:15), "Justice isperpetual and immortal." The moral virtues which regulate thepassions remain in the separated soul in their essence asperfections of the soul, but they no longer regulate irregularitiesof appetite; in the future life of the virtuous soul there are noirregularities of any kind.

2. The intellectual virtues remain in the separated soul,but in a manner which renders their use more perfect than it wasduring earthly life. In the present life, man must recur to senseimages (in phantasy or imagination) as he uses acquired knowledge.But the separated soul will not have the service of the senses ortheir images, nor will the soul require that service.

3. Faith which pertains to "things that appearnot," cannot continue after the things actually appear. In thenext life, faith will be fulfilled in the more perfect habit ofvision, and will be supplanted by vision.

4. And hope, which looks on to a good not yet possessed,can have no place in the soul which possesses all that it oncehoped for. In heaven, hope will be crowned with fulfillment, andwill cease to exist as a specific habit or virtue of the soul.

5. Not even remnants or elements of faith and hope canremain in the soul in heaven, for these virtues are simple habits,and they are either present entirely or absent entirely.

6. But charity will remain in the separated soul in glory.St. Paul says (I Cor. 13:8), "Charity never fallethaway." Charity will be fulfilled in heaven, not as faith isfilled and supplanted by vision, not as hope is fulfilled andsupplanted by possession: charity will be fulfilled by beingperfected in its own nature; that is, imperfect charity will becomeperfect charity.

"God has no need of men."
St Philip Neri

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"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

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"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

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