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129. Magnanimity

1. Magnanimity (which literally means large-mindedness),is a kind of stretching forth of the mind to great deeds. Now, anact or a deed is great, either (a) when it is the best use of thebest things, and this is absolute greatness; or (b) whenit is the very good use of a lesser thing, and this isproportional greatness.

2. Among external things, high and true honors are thebest. With respect to possessing these honors and manifesting themnobly, man is said to be magnanimous.

3. Magnanimity shows itself in greatness of courage forobtaining or defending what is noble and honorable. It is areasonable, regulated, and settled habit of mind; hence, it is avirtue.

4. Honor is the reward of every virtue, and thereforemagnanimity has a reference to all the virtues. Yet it is a specialvirtue, for it focuses upon a special phase of good.

5. Magnanimity accords with fortitude in strengthening themind and will to endure difficulty in view of a noble end. Thusmagnanimity is a part of fortitude.

6. Cicero seems to indicate magnanimity when he assignsconfidence as a part of fortitude. Confidence is a firmtrust or hope in an assurance given, whether by the word of a man,or by the condition of affairs. Since confidence means strong hopethat good will be attained despite difficulties, it is a nobleexpectation that appears to belong to magnanimity.

7. Security is not the same as confidence; securitydenotes freedom from care and fear; it consists in being strongagainst worry, and enemies, and misfortune. Thus, security belongsdirectly to fortitude, whereas confidence belongs directly tomagnanimity and, through magnanimity, to fortitude.

8. In so far as goods of fortune (riches, power, friends)are honorable in themselves and are apt instruments for virtuoususes, these goods are conducive to magnanimity.

"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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"We must not be behind time in doing good; for death will not be behind his time. "
St Phillip Neri

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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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