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Lecture XVI: The Virtues of Fortitude and Temperance Spiritual Theology (THE 390) August 9, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture XVI: The Virtues of Fortitude and Temperance Spiritual Theology (THE 390) August 9, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture XVI: The Virtues of Fortitude and Temperance Spiritual Theology (THE 390) August 9, 2011

2 I. The Virtue of Fortitude  Definition It is infused to strengthen the irascible appetite and the will so that the pursuit of the arduous good will not be abandoned even when faced with bodily harm or death. the proper subject is the irascible appetite as object it has to prevent unreasonable fear in the face of an evil that threatens as object is also has to restrain one from unreasonably attacking an impending evil

3  Acts of Fortitude attack endure it is more heroic and difficult to resist an enemy or suffer an evil than to attack an evil Fortitude is especially manifested in unexpected events Fortitude will be necessary, not only to achieve victory over the enemy, but also to endure the passive purgations sent by God

4  Vices Opposed to Fortitude Defect cowardice – refusal to suffer necessary hardships Excess fearlessness – insensitivity to fear recklessness – disdain of prudent judgment

5 Magnanimity Definition – a virtue which inclines one to perform some great and honorable act  presupposes an advanced soul  person is not envious  does not give himself to many actions, but few important and great actions

6 Vices opposed  presumption – attempts actions that are beyond one’s strength or ability  ambition – seeks honors which he does not merit  vainglory – seeks fame or popularity  pusillanimity – unreasonable lack of confidence in oneself

7 Magnificence Definition – inclines one to take on great projects without getting disheartened by magnitude of project or great expenses associated with it  differs from magnanimity in that it involves a material construction project  it is a virtue which should characterize the wealthy

8 Vices opposed  Meanness – holding back on the expenditure out of proportion to cost of project  Wastefulness – expenditure of money far in excess of what is required by project

9 Patience Definition – enables one to bear sufferings without sadness and dejection.  many souls suffer but do not receive merit because they bear them without patience  to have merit, one must have proper manner of bearing and for the proper motives

10 Motives for patience  conformity to will of God  calling to mind the sufferings of Christ and Mary  reparation for our sins  co-operating with Christ to apply fruits of redemption (Col. 1:24)  eternity of happiness

11 Degrees of patience  resignation w/o complaining  peace and serenity w/o sadness  sweet acceptance for love of God  complete joy for association with sufferings of Christ  preferring suffering to pleasure (folly of the Cross)

12 Opposing Vices  impatience – manifesting itself by anger and complaining  insensibility (hardness of heart) Longanimity Definition – virtue which strengthens man to strive for a good which is temporally a long way off

13 Perseverance Definition – inclines a person to continue in the practice of the good despite the difficulties associated with the continuance of the action  lifelong fidelity in the practice of any virtue requires the virtue of perseverance  distinction from the grace of final perseverance

14 Constancy Definition – it is the virtue which strengthens the soul against some external obstacle. Perseverance is related, but it strengthens the soul in the face of fidelity for a long time Opposing virtues to Constancy and perseverance * inconstancy (effiminancy) – giving up the practice of a virtue as soon as a difficulty or obstacles presents itself * pertinacity – obstinancy in the refusal to cease a given effort when right reason requires it


16  Means of Growth in Fortitude Pray constantly for fortitude Foresee difficulties which will be encountered along the path of virtue Accept with generosity the little difficulties of daily life Meditate frequently on the Passion of Christ Intensify one’s love of God Amor Christi urget nos!

17 II. The Gift of Fortitude  Definition “...a supernatural habit which strengthens the soul for the practice, under the movement of the Holy Ghost, of every type of virtue, with invincible confidence of overcoming any dangers or difficulties that may arise” (Royo, 474).

18 As with all the gifts, the soul’s powers are elevated to a divine plane and the soul does not reason but acts by a kind of instinctive interior impulse from the Holy Spirit

19 One of the clearest distinctive characteristics of the operation of the Gift of Fortitude is the confidence of success the soul experiences The Gift of Fortitude is often necessary for the preservation of the state of grace when the soul is besieged by a sudden and intense temptation. The Gift of Fortitude purifies the virtue of fortitude by removing from it all traces of fear and indecisiveness

20  Effects of the Gift of Fortitude (Royo, 476-477) gives soul relentless vigor in the practice of virtue overcomes completely all lukewarmness in the service of God soul is made fearless before every kind of danger or enemy

21 souls are enabled to suffer extreme pain with patience and joy practice of the “folly of the Cross” soul is given the quality of heroism in all things, great and small Death by “pinpricks”  Vices Opposed to the Gift of Fortitude timidity sloth

22  Means of Progress Fulfilling constantly our duties exactly despite the repugnance we may feel To pray, not for the removal of our crosses, but for the strength to carry them To practice voluntary mortification with fidelity Fervent and frequent reception of Holy Communion for strength

23 III. The Virtue of Temperance  Temperance in Itself Definition: “...a supernatural habit which moderates inclination to sense pleasures, especially those related to touch and taste, keeping them within the limits of reason enlightened by faith” (Royo, 482).

24 It resides in the concupiscible appetite and controls its movements It is one of the most important virtues of the spiritual life in that it regulates the two most vehement instincts of human nature associated with the preservation of life: taste  touch, especially associated with sexual function

25  Opposed Vices Excess intemperance – surpassing the limits of reason concerning taste and touch Defect insensibility – avoiding even the legitimate pleasures necessary and associated with the preservation of life without right reason

26  Parts of Temperance Integral Parts (integrate virtue and facilitate its exercise) sense of shame  not so much a virtue as a passion or feeling  it causes us to fear the embarrassment or confusion which follows the performance of a base action  St. Thomas says that it belongs especially to the young who are only moderately virtuous as the wicked have no shame and those who are advanced aren’t inclined to any base action

27 sense of honor  an appreciation for the dignity and spiritual beauty associated with being temperate Subjective parts (species) Taste  Abstinence – moderate use of nourishment according to reason enlightened by faith  Proper act – fasting  Vice opposed – gluttony  Sobriety – moderate use of intoxicating drinks  Vice opposed – drunkenness

28 Touch  chastity – moderates the desire for venereal pleasures according to one’s state in life  purity – moderates external acts which prepare for sexual union  external acts vary with one’s particular state  vices opposed – lust  internal lust – thoughts, desires

29  external lust – incomplete exterior acts  external lust – completed exterior acts  virginity – resolute will to preserve one’s integrity of body by abstaining from all voluntary venereal pleasure  true virginity must be ratified by a vow  perfect chastity is the preservation from deliberate venereal pleasure but not ratified by a vow

30 Potential Parts (related virtues) continence – strengthens will in order to resist the disordered vehemence of the passions when they arise  perfect chastity differs from continence in that the former controls the passions in such a manner that such vehement passions do not arise  importance of resisting first movement of passion  vice opposed – incontinence

31 meekness – moderation of the passion of anger  meekness resides in the irascible appetite  anger is a passion and as such is amoral, neither good or bad  there is a tendency to allow anger to determine one’s actions and move beyond justice and charity  meekness enables an individual to use anger within the just limits of charity and justice, as manifested by Jesus in cleansing the Temple and during His Passion

32 Clemency – inclines the person in authority to mitigate a punishment according to right reason  motivated by kindness which does not neglect the demands of justice  opposed vices are cruelty, brutality, and excessive leniency

33 Modesty – inclines one to conduct his interior and exterior movements and mode of dress in accord with his proper state of life and position in society  modesty moderates the tendency of a person to promote one’s own excellence  this is combated with the virtue of humility (cf. handout on humility)  the vice opposed to humility is pride  modesty moderates the desire for knowledge

34  excessive or disordered desire for knowledge is combated by the virtue of studiousness  the vices opposed to studiousness are vain curiosity and sloth/negligence  modesty moderates bodily movements and actions  such are combated by modesty of action and eutrapalia  the vices opposed to eutrapalia are inordinate/excessive recreation and excessive austerity  modesty moderates the movements relating to dress

35  As has been seen, the Gift of Fear is ordered primarily to the Virtue of Hope and secondarily to the virtue of Temperance. The Gift of Fear helps man to avoid those things which are offensive to God and to which man is principally inclined by the flesh God comes to man’s aid with the Gift of Fear in order that the pleasures of the senses can be perfectly controlled. IV. The Gift of Fear

36 V. The Virtue of Humility  Definition: “It is a virtue derived from temperance which inclines an individual to restrain the inordinate desire for his own excellence, giving him a true evaluation of his smallness and misery before God” (Royo, 490). humility resides in the irascible appetite even though it derives from temperance which resides in the concupiscible appetite

37  Basis of humility The ultimate foundation of humility is a comparison of oneself with the infinite perfections of God humility is thus closely connected with the theological virtues and the virtue of religion

38 Humility is based upon truth and justice truth gives a knowledge of ourselves and recognition that anything good in us comes from God justice requires that we give God all honor and glory for what is good in us

39  A Fundamental Virtue It is not the most excellent, but it is fundamental in the negative sense of removing the obstacles to reception of grace ut removens prohibens humility removes the obstacles and faith establishes contact with God

40  Degrees of Virtue of Humility (cf. Royo pp. 492-493) St. Benedict fear of God and recognition of his precepts not to desire to follow one’s own will to subject oneself by obedience to a superior patiently to embrace through obedience difficult and painful things to recognize and confess one’s own defects to believe and admit that one is unworthy and useless

41 to believe and admit that one is the most vile and wretched of all to subject oneself in all things to the common life and to avoid singularity not to speak without being addressed to speak in few words and in a humble tone of voice not to be easily disposed to laughter to keep one’s eyes cast downward

42 St. Anselm to acknowledge oneself as worthy of disdain to grieve at one’s unworthiness because of one’s defect to confess one’s unworthiness to convince others of one’s unworthiness to bear patiently that others say of us that we are unworthy to allow oneself to be treated with contempt to rejoice in being treated with contempt

43 St. Bernard sufficient humility: to subject oneself to superiors and not prefer oneself to one’s equals abundant humility: to subject oneself to one’s equals and not to prefer oneself to one’s inferiors superabundant humility: to subject oneself to one’s inferiors

44 St. Ignatius necessary humility: one humble himself as much as possible, so that in all things he obeys the law of God to point that even if he could become Lord of all creation he would never commit a mortal sin

45 perfect humility: one does not care to have riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, a long life rather than a short life, as long as one can serve God so faithfully that he would not commit a deliberate venial sin for all the world most perfect humility: one prefers to be poor with Christ, to suffer opprobrium with Christ, and to be considered a fool with Christ, rather than to be wealthy or honored or considered wise by the world

46  The Vice of Pride Definition: A disordered desire for one’s own excellence. It is the mother of all sins

47 Principal manifestations of pride (cf. Summa Theologica IIaIIae, Q. 162, a. 4) to think that one’s gifts and talents are from oneself to believe that the gifts of God are due strictly to one’s own merits to boast of possessing that which one does not have to despise others and wish to appear the exclusive possessor of that which one has

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