Choose a topic from Part 2B:

134. Magnificence

1. The word magnificence which is commonly used to meanrich display, really means "doing great things." In thisliteral meaning, magnificence is a virtue.

2. Magnificence not only means the perfection of othervirtues, but it is a special virtue itself. For magnificence has aspecial aspect of goodness in view, namely, the doing of somethinggreat-in quantity, quality, value, dignity-and thus it is specifiedas a virtue.

3. In external great works, magnificence requires largeexpenditure of money. Aristotle (Ethic. iv 2) says thatmagnificence, unlike liberality, does not belong to all uses ofmoney, but only to the larger transactions. In splendid externalmatters, magnificence regulates the outlay of money: on the onehand, it curbs the love of money which would scamp the work; on theother hand, it prevents mere garish display. Thus it worthily meetsthe high demands of a truly great external work.

4. As a virtue, magnificence is allied with fortitude. Forwhile magnificence does not face up to danger, it does face up todifficulty. It demands the difficult surrender of large amounts ofone's possessions; it demands a lot of money.

"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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