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.

"If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will. For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight." "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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

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