Choose a topic from Part 2B:

181. The Active Life

1. The active life is given to works rather thanto contemplation. Since the moral virtues are mainly pertinent tooperation, they belong essentially to the active life.

2. And the virtue of prudence, which isspeculative in essence and practical in many of its applications,is, as a practical or moral virtue, directly pertinent to theactive life.

3. Teaching as actively exercised belongs to the activelife. St. Gregory (Hom. xiv in Ezech.) says that"the active life is to feed the hungry, and to teach words ofwisdom to the ignorant." Yet the teacher, considering truth inhis own mind and loving it, is contemplative. Therefore teachinghas a twofold aspect, one active, one contemplative.

4. The life of external action ends with earthlyexistence. If there be any external actions at all in heaven, theywill have contemplation as their aim and end, and thus will belongto contemplation itself. St. Gregory says (Hom. xiv inEzech.): "The active life ends with this world, but thecontemplative life begins here and is perfected inheaven."

"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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"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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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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