Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Seven Virtues: Jade Braden
By Jade Braden
When I was in my senior year of high school, out of all the subjects we discussed, my English teacher enjoyed talking about the medieval ages to the class with heartfelt excitement. In particular, his favorite subject was King Arthur’s knights. What made these medieval men stand out to him were the codes of honor that those knights practiced rigorously which showed signs of a true knight. Following the completion of high school, I realized that knights were not the only ones capable of gaining these virtues that were memorable enough to write stories and poems about these great men. Numerous sources, from Greek philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato, to the Catholic catechism describe these “knightly” virtues into seven specific virtues.
In the Catholic catechism, the seven virtues were categorized into two sections: the four cardinal virtues include prudence, justice, restraint (temperance) and courage (fortitude) and then the three theological virtues are faith, hope, and love (charity). Another individual named Aurelius Prudentius later revised the list of virtues through his poem, “Psychomachia” (or “Battle/Contest of the Soul”) as the seven heavenly virtues to combat the seven deadly sins which many people such as you may have heard about through the media’s popular portrayal of these vices. These virtues became chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility.
In this blog entry, I am offering the audience a chance to view these virtues, their vices and the meanings associated with those virtues. As you read each virtue, consider the roles of these virtues or counteracting vices in your life and how you, close ones, or society reacted to any virtue or vice active in your life. Often, people are not aware of the vices that take hold of them but by recognizing the vices, the person receives the option to continue fulfilling vices or appeal to a contrary virtue. Ultimately, the choice is up to that individual. With that, glean what you can from the list of virtues with their respective vices and enjoy!
- Virtue: (Vice)
i.e., Alternative meaning of virtue word
Meaning of virtue
- Chastity: (Lust)
i.e., Purity, knowledge, honesty, wisdom
Incorporating chastity is to abstain from sexual contact, refraining from intoxicants. One becomes honest with oneself and others. One embraces moral wholesomeness and achieving purity of thought through education and betterment.
- Temperance: (Gluttony)
i.e., Self-control, justice, honor, abstention
There is constant mindfulness of others and one’s surroundings. One takes caution to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time. There is proper moderation between self-interest versus public-interest, and against the rights and needs of others.
- Charity: (Greed)
i.e., Love, will, benevolence, generosity, sacrifice
Charity is not the same as simply giving money out to homeless people. Charity or Love as a congruent definition is loving kindness towards all others, self-sacrificial. The sacrificing of oneself can include a sacrifice of one’s time, services, finances, etc.
- Diligence: (Sloth)
i.e., Persistence, effort, ethics, rectitude
One has a zealous and careful nature in ones’ work and actions. One has a decisive work ethic, is steadfast in belief, fortitude, and has the capability of not giving up. One budgets ones’ time, monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness. One upholds ones’ convictions regardless if others are watching or not, indicating integrity.
- Patience: (Wrath)
i.e., Peace, mercy, sufferance
There is forbearance and endurance through moderation. One resolves conflicts and injustice peacefully as opposed to resorting to violence. One accepts the grace to forgive, show mercy to others. Create a sense of community and stability.
- Kindness: (Envy)
i.e., Satisfaction, loyalty, compassion, integrity
Empathy and trust without prejudice or resentment. There is unselfish love and voluntary kindness without bias or spite. One has positive outlooks and a cheerful demeanor. One inspires kindness in others.
- Humility: (Pride)
i.e., Bravery, modesty, reverence, altruismIt involves modest behavior, selflessness, and the giving of respect. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. It is a spirit of self-examination. Courage of the heart is necessary to undertake tasks which are difficult, tedious or unglamorous, and to graciously accept the sacrifices involved. There is reverence for those who have the wisdom and those who selflessly teach in love. One gives credit where its’ due while not unfairly glorifying one’s one self. One becomes faithful to promises, no matter how big or small they can be. One refrains from despair and the ability to confront fear and uncertainty, or intimidation