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.

"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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"Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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