Category Archives: virtues

377. What is a virtue?

A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. “The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God” (Saint Gregory of Nyssa). There are human virtues and theological virtues.

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378. What are the human virtues?

The human virtues are habitual and stable perfections of the intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They are acquired and strengthened by the repetition of morally good acts and they are purified and elevated by divine grace.

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379. What are the principal human virtues?

The principal human virtues are called the cardinal virtues, under which all the other virtues are grouped and which are the hinges of a virtuous life. The cardinal virtues are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.

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380. What is prudence?

Prudence disposes reason to discern in every circumstance our true good and to choose the right means for achieving it. Prudence guides the other virtues by pointing out their rule and measure.

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381. What is justice?

Justice consists in the firm and constant will to give to others their due. Justice toward God is called “the virtue of religion.”

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382. What is fortitude?

Fortitude assures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It reaches even to the ability of possibly sacrificing one’s own life for a just cause.

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383. What is temperance?

Temperance moderates the attraction of pleasures, assures the mastery of the will over instincts and provides balance in the use of created goods.

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