"What is Virtue?"

By Paul Dion, STL

This one will take us down a rather interesting theological and philosophical road.

"What is Virtue?"

Tell us what you feel about this question from deep in your heart. Share your thoughts with us. If you feel too shy to post your name, you can sign it Anonymous.

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  1. When I think of virtue... I think of character, and what it speaks of a person. For me all that I was taught in my faith was virtues.It's a upholding, and not a compromise. Virtues are a commintment to humanity and what Jesus Christ wanted us to follow in him. When you have virtues, I believe that the word compromise does not exist. We compromise alot of things in our lives... but a virtue is a testament to ones self, and the heart of what one really believes and not only that but puts into action.

  2. Anonymous9:32 AM

    Virtue is consistently doing something that you know is right despite all the temptations to the wrong thing. At least that's what I think. I love your burning questions.

  3. Anonymous12:22 AM

    The ParishWorld Recap of the Burning Question
    By Paul Dion, STL
    Sept. 13, 2006

    Wow! I stumped all of you! Not even the greatest of all "Googlers" came up with more comments. It is a sign that the question was out of your league.

    I therefore will not bore you with a long harangue concerning the technicalities of the question. I will just plant some seeds in your hearts and souls and leave the rest up to your meditation.

    Virtues are habits. They are interior energy forces that drive us to behave well. They are not secondary to exterior stimuli. Here is a quick overview of the structure of the traditional theological understanding of Virtue.

    Intellectual Virtues:

    Art: The right method with regard to production

    Prudence: The right method of human conduct

    Moral Virtues:

    Justice: Regulates human inter-relations

    Temperance: Regulates the control of personal behavior

    Fortitude: Regulates behavior with regards moral strength and courage

    Theological Virtues:

    These virtues are unconditional gifts from God which have Him as their direct object.

    They are : FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE.

    These "habits" come from Him directly and regulate our behavior back to Him, either directly or indirectly.

    Lastly, virtues are forces, habits, which regulate our behavior to stay within the limits of right behavior, both to the right and to the left. Virtuous behavior is "median" behavior. It takes place in the mid-range area between excess and deprivation or deficit.

    Having said this, it should be clear to you that virtue is the regulator of passion, both for the good and for the evil. Virtue is an interior, source habit while passion is a responding emotion.

    It should also be clear to you now what the name of the opposite of virtue is. Please let me know by naming it and by commenting on it.

    Peace and joy to you all.

  4. Anonymous12:28 AM

    I will take a stab at your chal;enge to name the opposite of Virtue. Is it "Sin?"