Strength and Virtue

This section of the blog will be about just that. It will be a corner, mostly for men, although it will for the most part not exclude women per se, on being a man, a real man, which means a man living in Christ.

Virtue (Latin: virtus, Greek: ἀρετή “arete”) is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual and collective well being. The opposite of virtue is vice.

According to its etymology the word virtue (Latin virtus) signifies manliness or courage. “Appelata est enim a viro virtus: viri autem propria maxime est fortitudo” (“The term virtue is from the word that signifies man; a man’s chief quality is fortitude”; Cicero, “Tuscul.”, I, xi, 18). Taken in its widest sense virtue means the excellence of perfection of a thing, just as vice, its contrary, denotes a defect or absence of perfection due to a thing.

The perfection of man, then, is in virtue.  This can only truly come about by grace, but it is up to men to cooperate with this grace and seek to be “that which he was made for.” It may seem to go without saying, but man was made to be “manly” and this, after all, is what it is to be virtuous.

Obviously, when I get to Part II of the Summa, where the Virtues are discussed at length, many ties will be made between this section of the blog and the one on the Summa proper.


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