True Happiness Begins
| The Virtues are
the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. When we obtain the virtues
through our own efforts and desires, we begin the process of becoming
The Church has divided the virtues
into two classifications:
- The Human Virtues,
which are called the Cardinal Virtues.
- The Theological
|There are four
|Prudence is our ability to determine
true good in
every circumstance and to choose the right means of obtaining it.
Prudence is right reason in action.
It guides the judgment of conscience. It guides the other virtues
and gives us the ability to apply moral principles to achieve good and
Justice is the firm moral
desire to give God and neighbor their just due.
Justice toward God is called the Virtue of
Religion. Justice toward men requires us to respect
the rights of others and to establish relationships with them that
promotes the common good.
The just person is distinguished by habitual
right thinking and uprightness toward one's neighbor at all times.
As the Bible has says: Col 4:1 - "Masters, treat
your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you have a master in
heaven." This applies to all individuals in their treatment
Your place in eternity
(Heaven/Purgatory or Hell) will be determined in how well you learn this
|Fortitude is the moral virtue that gives one
the inner strength and
firmness in difficulties to continue the
pursuit of the common good.
It gives us the strength to resist
temptations and to over-come obstacles in one's moral life.
It enables one to conquer fear, even fear
of death, and to face persecution. It gives one the
ability to sacrifice one's life in defending a
just cause, as so many Saints and religious have done, which
spreads the faith.
|Temperance is the moral virtue that provides
balance in the attraction of worldly goods and pleasures. By
control over one's instincts, you can keep desires within honorable
limits. A temperate person directs his
desires, which come from the heart and not from earthly temptations,
toward what is good.
To live well is
nothing other than to love God with all one's heart and with all one's
soul and with all one's effort. (Catechism
of the Catholic Church)
Faith is the theological virtue by
which one believes in God and all that He has revealed to us, by what He
has said and through His Holy Church.
By faith, one must totally and freely commit their
entire self to God. Those with true faith prove this through works
of charity. Service and witnessing to Christ and to the One True
Church are necessary for salvation.
|Hope is the
theological virtue in which we totally desire the Kingdom of Heaven and
an eternal life of happiness with God. We know that this will be
our gift by loving, honoring and serving God.
Heaven is obtainable, not by our own strength, but by the help and grace
of the Holy Spirit. Hope keeps one from discouragement and
sustains us during times of abandonment. Buoyed up by hope, we are
preserved from selfishness and led to happiness.
Christian hope begins with Jesus preaching the
Beatitudes. This is the weapon that protects us in the struggle
|Charity is the
theological virtue by which we love God above all things for His sake,
and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. Jesus makes
charity the new commandment, the fullness of The Law.
It is the foundation of the other virtues. It is
the bond of perfection. If I have not charity, I have nothing and
I gain nothing. With charity, I have life and inspiration.
|God's loving gifts are Faith, Hope and
Charity. The greatest of these is Charity. The fruits of
charity are joy, peace and mercy. It is friendship and communion.
|The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Fear of the Lord
They complete and perfect the virtues of those who
The Holy Catholic Church lists twelve fruits of the
Holy Spirit. They are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control