Inspirational Author: Embracing the virtues to live a happier life!

Virtue: Understanding Good vs. Evil

February 7, 2014

 

virtueVirtue is often misunderstood. To understand the virtues and why they are important, we must first recognize the difference between good and evil; between morally right and wrong actions.

God created everything good. He created each of us to be good and to strive towards good, with Himself as the Supreme Good. At our birth, God graced each of us with the ability to participate in His Eternal Law by implanting in our human nature the innate knowledge of what is morally right versus wrong. We call this innate knowledge Natural Law; that portion of God’s Eternal Law given to humankind to guide us through life. From this innate knowledge we are aware that good should be embraced and evil shunned. For example, we all know that it is wrong to steal, and right to respect another’s property.

With the Natural Law implanted in our human nature, God also infused into our souls three virtues; faith, hope and love.  Like muscles in the human body, these virtues need some exercise for us to flourish! They aid our consciences to discern appropriately what is morally right versus wrong. A properly formed conscience acts as our moral compass as we traverse through the path of life.

God did not create evil. We, as humans, did that to ourselves through the use of our free will and commission of original sin. Therefore, when we do something morally wrong, or evil, we deprive ourselves of God. Every one of us is capable of being in accord with God, if we freely choose to embrace and practice the virtues. Virtue is defined by Saint Thomas Aquinas as follows:

“According to… (Aristotle)…’the virtue of a thing is that which makes its subject good, and its work good likewise.’ Consequently, wherever we find a good human act, it must correspond to some human virtue.” 1

Now that we understand the difference between what is good and evil, it is time to explore the virtues. You will find that once you embrace them, and begin to practice them, you will live a much happier life, growing ever closer to God. I do not promise that the material on this website will garner you wealth, fame, or prestige; for these are fleeting and will pass away. However, I do attest that the virtues have been in existence prior to any established religion, and they are your path to happiness.

We will begin with the virtue of Faith. What is faith and why should it be important to you? We will discuss faith and its importance in our next reflection. Don’t miss it!

Footnote:

1 Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica I-II q.17, a.1. newadvent.org

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