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.

"Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it."
St Philip Neri

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"For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?"
Thomas á Kempis

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"The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you."
Thomas á Kempis

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