Choose a topic from Part 2B:

117. Liberality or Generosity

1. Liberality is a virtue, for it puts to good use thethings that might be used for evil purposes-such, for instance, asmoney or other material things.

2. And, indeed, liberality deals, first and foremost, withmoney. A liberal man is an open-handed man, who is ready to"liberate" money from his own possession, and thus showsthat he is not inordinately attached to it.

3. The proper act of liberality, therefore, consists inmaking good use of money. Liberality demands that one's debtsbe paid, and that suitable gifts be made. Merely to be carelesswith money, neglecting to save what is needed to meet expenses andto have the means of making gifts, is not liberality.

4. Parting with money by giving it to others is a greateract of virtue than parting with it in fulfilling one's owndesires, that is, spending it on oneself. The liberal man ispraised for giving.

5. Liberality seems to be allied with justice, even thoughit givesmore than is strictly due. Therefore, it is reckonedby many as a part of justice, that is, a virtue connected withjustice but not having equal scope with it.

6. Liberality is a gracious and notable virtue, but it is notthe greatest of virtues.

"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel."
Thomas á Kempis

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

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