Choose a topic from Part 2A:

55. The Virtues

1. Virtue is a word formed from the Latin virtus which means power or strength or valor or manliness. In man, a virtue is a habit that accords with human nature, lending power, smoothness, promptitude to the operation of that nature. Virtue is a good habit either in the intellectual or the moral order; hence we distinguish intellectual virtues and moral virtues.

2. Virtue is an operative habit; it has to do with doing, not being. Hence we do not call physical habits such as health or leanness by the name of virtue, for these are habits of being (entitative habits) rather than habits of doing (operative habits).

3. Virtue is a good habit. Aristotle says (Ethic.ii), "Virtue makes its subject good, and makes the subject's work good." For virtue implies perfection of power.

4. Virtue may be called "a good habit of reason by which we live rightly, and which cannot be put to bad use." When we speak of "divinely infused supernatural virtue," we add to this description of virtue the words, "which God puts into us without our contributing anything to the gift."

"Lord, take from me everything that hinders me from going to You. give me all that will lead me to You. Take me from myself and give me to Yourself."
St Nicholas Flue

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"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?"
Thomas á Kempis

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