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.

"Lord, here burn, here cut, and dry up in me all that hinders me from going to You, that You may spare me in eternity."
St Louis Bertrand

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"Happy is the youth, because he has time before him to do good. "
St Philip Neri

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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