Choose a topic from Part 2B:

145. Honesty or Decorousness

1. Honesty, as we use the term here, means goodness,decorousness, decency. Strictly speaking, honesty is a general termfor any virtue, and for all virtues together.

2. Honesty is the same as beauty in the spiritualmeaning of the latter word. For virtue gives the soul beauty;honesty means virtue; hence honesty and beauty of soul (that is,beauty of character, beauty of life) are the same.

3. What is honest has excellence in itself, andtherefore deserves honor. What is pleasing or pleasantquiets desire and gives delight. What is useful is good asa means to obtain something else. Hence, there is a distinctionbetween the honest and the pleasing, between the honest and theuseful-even though it may happen that all three are found in onesubject, as, for instance in the virtue of justice, which ishonest, may be pleasing, and is certainly useful for righteousliving. But the three things are not coextensive, and to find oneis not necessarily to find all three.

4. Since temperance repels in man what is most unbecomingto him, that is, excess in animal lusts, it lends a spiritualbeauty to a man, and we call that beauty honesty. Thus, honesty,the beauty-conferring expression of temperance, is a quasi-integralpart of temperance itself.

"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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"The name of Jesus, pronounced with reverence and affection, has a kind of power to soften the heart. "
St Philip Neri

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"A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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