Choose a topic from Part 2B:

144. Shamefacedness

1. Shamefacedness is a recoil from what is disgraceful; itis a drawing or shrinking back from what is base. In a broad sense,shamefacedness is a virtue. But, more strictly, it is to be calleda praiseworthy passion, and not a virtue. It lacks the fullperfection of a habit steadily inclining the will to good.

2. Shamefacedness has to do with action. It is not shamefor the disgrace inherent in a vicious habit, but for the disgracefeared as the result of a bad deed contemplated or alreadyperformed. It is the shrinking from deserved reproach or ignominyfor something vile that is proposed for doing, or for a vile thingalready done.

3. A man is more likely to fear and to feel shame beforethose who are closest to him (his relatives, friends, andacquaintances), than before strangers. People unknown to a person,people in whose society he does not regularly move, inspire smallshame; disgrace suffered before the eyes of strangers is quicklyforgotten.

4. A man may become so immersed in evil that he losesshame, and may even boast of doing what is shameful. There areothers in whom a lack of shame is not disgraceful, that is, peopleof sound virtue and aged people; these lack shame, not as by adeficiency, but they regard any shameful action as something soremote from themselves as to be negligible and worthy of no thoughtor concern. Of course, these persons are so disposed that if (by awell-nigh impossible supposition) they were to do a disgracefulthing, they would be ashamed of it.

"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

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"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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