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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.

"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

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"A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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