Category: Catholic Articles

What Indeed Are Virtues? 

What Indeed Are Virtues? 


What indeed are virtues?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines virtue as “a habitual and firm disposition to do the good.” 

[1] Traditionally, the seven Christian virtues or heavenly virtues combine the four classical cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and courage (or fortitude) with the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. These were adopted by the Church Fathers as the seven virtues.

Cardinal virtues 

The Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato, regarded temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage as the four most desirable character traits. The Book of Wisdom is one of the seven Sapiential Books included in the Septuagint. Wisdom 8:7 states that the fruits of Wisdom “…are virtues; For she teaches moderation and prudence, justice and fortitude, and nothing in life is more useful for men than these.”

The moral virtues are attitudes, dispositions, and good habits that govern one’s actions, passions, and conduct according to reason; and are acquired by human effort.

[2] Immanuel Kant said, “Virtue is the moral strength of the will in obeying the dictates of duty”.

[3] The cardinal virtues are prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.

Prudence from prudentia meaning “seeing ahead, sagacity”) is the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason

[4] It is called the Auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues) as it guides the other virtues.

[5] Justice is the virtue which regulates man in his dealings with others. Connected to justice are the virtues of religion, piety, and gratitude. 

[6] Fortitude which Thomas Aquinas ranks third after prudence and justice and equates with brave endurance.[3] Patience and perseverance are virtues related to fortitude.

Temperance is the virtue which moderates in accordance with reasoning the desires and pleasures of the sensuous appetite. Related to temperance are the virtues of continence, humility, and meekness.

[6] Philosophers recognized the interrelatedness of the virtues such that courage without prudence risks becoming mere foolhardiness. Aquinas found an interconnection of practical wisdom (prudentia) and moral virtue. This is frequently termed “the Unity of the Virtues.”

[7] Aquinas also argued that it not only matters what a person does but how the person does it. The person must aim at a good end and also make a right choice about the means to that end. The moral virtues direct the person to aim at a good end, but to ensure that the person make the right choices about the means to a good end, one needs practical wisdom.

[8] The traditional understanding of the differences in the natures of Cardinal and Theological virtues, is that the latter are not fully accessible to humans in their natural state without assistance from God. 

“All virtues have as their final scope to dispose man to acts conducive to his true happiness. The happiness, however, of which man is capable is two fold, namely, natural, which is attainable by man’s natural powers, and supernatural, which exceeds the capacity of unaided human nature. Since, therefore, merely natural principles of human actions are inadequate to a supernatural end, it is necessary that man be endowed with supernatural powers to enable him to attain his final destiny. Now these supernatural principles are nothing else than the theological virtues.”[6] 

Seven virtues and the seven capital sins

A list of seven virtues that oppose the seven deadly sins appeared later in an epic poem titled Psychomachia, or Battle/Contest of the Soul. Written by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, a Christian governor who died around 410 AD, it entails the battle between good virtues and evil vices. The enormous popularity of this work in the Middle Ages helped to spread the concept of holy virtue throughout Europe.

After Pope Gregory released his list of seven deadly sins in 590 AD, the seven virtues became identified as chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. Practicing them is said to protect one against temptation from the seven deadly sins.

Chastity is contrary to lust and sexual sins. Patience is contradicted by impatience. Temperance by moderation. Humility by pride etc.

The Power Of Jesus Versus The Power Of Demons. 

The Power Of Jesus Versus The Power Of Demons. 

​*🎤The Power of Jesus versus the Power of demons.🎤*

Homily for Friday 12th October 2018.

_“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’ So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith.” *Galatians 3:79.*

Today, St. Paul continues his lecture to the Galatian whom he referred to as foolish for making circumcision more important than the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. In proving to them that Faith in God is more important than the law (being circumcised), Paul reminded them that Abraham had not even been circumcised yet when God called him and made him the source of blessing for all nations.

As St. Paul teaches us: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.” Galatians 3:13. However, the fact that salvation does not depend on the law does not make the law invalid. It simply changes our approach to it. Before Jesus Christ, we were slaves, now we are sons and daughters of God. The slave obeys the law out of fear knowing it is his only chance of survival but the son obeys the law out of love knowing that the house belongs to him.

A person who was delivered by Jesus Christ left his heart empty and refused to allow God to take possession of his life thereby giving room for a full-force return of the demonic spirits. Upon seeing that the person was possessed again, the people started looking down on Jesus, they went as far accusing Jesus of using the power of demons.

The truth is that to this day there are many Christians who still believe that Jesus has no power; Christians who fear demons more than Jesus Christ. Some like these persons in today’s Gospel passage come to Jesus demanding for signs and wonders as if to say: “Jesus, prove yourself or I walk away!” It is interesting that Jesus did not perform any sign for them. Instead, Jesus seized the opportunity to teach them how impossible it is for him to be casting out demons by Beelzebub.

What we learn from Jesus’ response is His calm disposition. Jesus had every right to get annoyed with the people or even to call down fire on them for such a false accusation but He took his time to teach them. When people lie against us, let us learn to be calm and allow the truth put them to shame.

Also, from His explanation, Jesus acknowledges the fact that demons have power, He even refers to satan as a strong man fully armed but adds that He is MORE POWERFUL. Jesus is the stronger man who assails satan, overcomes him and divides the spoil. Yes, demons may appear powerful to us, they evoke some fear in us but the simple truth is that their power is nothing compared to God.

That a man could be cured of demonic possession only to later on relapse into it is not to say demons are greater than God but to say the man himself was careless and senseless. Dear friends, just as God will not help you select your thoughts, God will not determine what kind of spirit occupies your heart.

You are in charge of your inner space. If you don’t open up your inner room for God to enter, if you are not focused on the things of God, satan will go in there and relax. Repentance is not an automatic thing as some preachers present it. (Once you say these words, you are saved!). No, repentance requires an entire process of cleaning one’s heart completely from the evils that have festered for so long and allowing God to take possession. If this is not done, there are chances that the demons may return.

*Let us pray: Lord Jesus, deepen my faith in your ultimate power to save me. Amen.*

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. 

Friday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time.

*Bible Study: Galatians 3:7-14, Psalm 111:1-6 and Luke 11:15-26.*

-Fr. Evaristus Abu🎷

Does God Allow Divorce And Remarriage? 

Does God Allow Divorce And Remarriage? 


Marriage flows when a couple dies of themselves.

For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with injustice, says the Lord of hosts; you must then safeguard life that is your own, and not break faith.   —  Malachi 2:16.

But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”   —-  Mark 10:5-9.

‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery’.  —  Mark 10:11-12.

It was also said, “Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.” ‘But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery’.  —-  Matthew 5:31-32.

Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” …I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery. —  Matthew 19:3-6,9.

‘Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery’. Luke 16:18.

Thus a married woman is bound by law to her living husband. Consequently, while her husband is alive she will be called an adulteress if she consorts with another man. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and she is not an adulteress if she consorts with another man. –Romans 7:2-3.

When Roses Make The Devil Flee: A Fragrant Dominican Tradition.  

When Roses Make The Devil Flee: A Fragrant Dominican Tradition.  

Today is Rosary Sunday, which includes the blessing and distribution of what might seem a rather random sacramental.

With the Rosary, the Christian people sit at the school of Mary and are led to contemplate the beauty of the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae.

Why bless roses on Rosary Sunday

For many centuries, devotion to the Rosary has been entrusted by the Church in a special way to the Dominican Order. Even today, Dominican parishes observe Rosary Sunday with a public recitation of the Holy Rosary, the blessing of rosaries, and the blessing and distribution of roses (or rose petals). Now rose petals might seem a bit random for a sacramental, but there is a real genius to connecting this particular flower and the powerful prayer of Our Lady.

A rose by any other name

The name of the Rosary stems from the Latin word rosarium, meaning a garland or bouquet of roses. As early as the 4th century, Gregory of Naziansus speaks of “weaving a chaplet for the Virgin Mary.” Chaplet here means the same thing as crown or wreath. Further, according to 13th-century German and Spanish legends, a monk saw the “aves” he offered to Mary turn into a chain of roses. These Hail-Marys-seen-as-roses would be rendered into English as the Rosary.

What a lovely image! Pope Leo XIII says, “For as often as we greet Mary with the angelic salutation, ‘full of grace,’ we present to the Blessed Virgin, in the repetition of our words of praise, roses which emit the most delightful perfume.” Each prayer offered through Mary takes on the sense of a rose being lovingly arranged.

Evoking the Passion.

Lest our concept of the Rosary be reduced to the romantic sentimentality of presenting flowers, we ought to recall that roses have a darker side, too. The thorns of their stems should remind us of the crown our Savior wore during his passion.

Red petals evoke the drops of blood he shed. Their slender stalks? They recall the reed he held as he was cruelly mocked and the rods which beat him. Their leaves? The clothes stripped from his tortured body.

It is no accident that Christians would take the rose, which the Greeks associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and apply it to Mary. Mary leads us deeper into the mystery of the love of Christ, all the while reminding us that all true love requires sacrifice. For Christians, the rose is a catechism of the charity of Christ.

Sign of grace

Finally, roses are signs of the graces Divine Providence accords Mary to offer. Roses tumbled from the tilma of Juan Diego

A rose graced the Virgin’s brow at Knock. At La Salette roses crowned her head, a wreath of roses adorned her cloak, and a third garland surrounded her slippers. At Lourdes, St. Bernadette saw upon each of her feet a blossoming rose.

The repeated appearance of the rose indicates its privileged place in connection with devotion to Our Lady. Mary herself has chosen them as one of her signs.

Among the many things the rose represents, we should interpret them as manifestations of, says Pope Pius XII, “the fullness of her perfections and the delicacy of her goodness.”

Squander them not

Phrases like “gather ye rosebuds” and “stop to smell the roses” show us that the rose is synonymous with beauty and good fortune, but can be passed by or ignored.

Take advantage this October, the month of the Holy Rosary, to seize the bouquets of grace Our Lady wants to offer. Pick up the rosary, and lay your prayers at her feet.

Blessing of Roses

For the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary (October 7).

From the Dominican Breviary.

O God, Creator and Preserver of the human race, who grant us the Holy Spirit with His seven-fold gifts, and who generously bestow eternal salvation:

Sanctify, we pray, and bless these roses. We present them before You today, and seek Your blessing upon them, to express our thanks to You, and our devotion towards the blessed Ever-Virgin Mary and her Rosary.

You created these roses as a source of pleasant fragrance and gave them to us to lift our spirits. Then through the power of the holy Cross pour out upon them Your heavenly + blessing.

Signed by the holy + Cross may they receive so powerful a blessing that in the houses and hospitals where they are taken, the sick may be healed. From the places where they are kept, may the powers of evil flee in fear and terror, nor may they presume again to disturb Your servants.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

– Originally Written By  Fr. Patrick Briscoe.

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