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Virtues
Question from ken on 7/12/2005:

What are the virtues that Catholics should practice?

Answer by David Gregson on 7/19/2005:

The most important are the seven supernatural virtues, infused in us by God at our Baptism, and reinforced by the other sacraments. They give us the ability to perform acts leading to salvation. (Apart from grace, we can do nothing to save ourselves.) They are divided into the theological virtues and the cardinal (moral) virtues.

The three theological virtues (meaning their focus is directly on God) are faith ("personal adherence to God...and [free assent] to the whole truth that God has revealed"), hope (by which we "desire and expect from God both eternal life and the grace we need to attain it"), and charity ("by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God").

The four cardinal virtues (meaning their focus is on this world, to live in it so we can reach the next), are prudence ("disposing a person to discern the good and choose the correct means to accomplish it"), justice (the "constant and firm will to give their due to God and to neighbor"), temperance ("moderates the attraction of pleasure and provides balance in the use of created goods"), and fortitude ("ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in doing the good") (Glossary, Catechism of the Catholic Church).

There are other moral virtues, but they are all applications of the the cardinal virtues to specific situations.



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