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157. Clemency and Meekness

1. Clemency is the virtue which moderates the anger of asuperior in punishing, or passing sentence upon, one who is subjectto him. Meekness is the virtue which moderates anger in aperson's own soul. Therefore clemency and meekness are notidentical, although they appear very similar.

2. Moral virtues, or will-virtues, bring the appetitesunder the control of reason. It is clear that both clemency andmeekness are moral virtues.

3. Clemency and meekness are aligned with the virtue oftemperance, and are thus parts of that cardinalvirtue.

4. Moral virtues are not so great, in point of nobilityand excellence, as the theological virtues of supernatural faith,hope, and charity. Hence clemency and meekness are not the greatestof virtues. Nor are they so great as the virtues of prudence,justice, and fortitude.

"A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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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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