Virtue: What will it effect?

The greatest proof of love is the perfect gift of self. Generosity is essentially self-communicative. Goodness is naturally self-diffusive. St. Thomas tells us that “It belongs to the essence of goodness to communicate itself to others…hence it belongs to the essence of the highest Good to communicate itself in the highest manner to the creature.”

In the same manner, the virtuous man inspires others to virtue, and the apostle, passionately in love with goodness, gives the best of himself to the souls of his fellow men, to lead them to God.

Action follows being, and its effects are like those of the sun.  It shines forth, because it simply is what it is, and so it does what it does. We, like St. Francis of Assisi, should preach the Gospel without ceasing (and when necessary, yes, we will use words).  But our actions will usually have the greatest influence on others, whether we see it or not. (does the sun know the great effects of its light and warmth?)  Like begets like.  Christ tells us, in the Sermon on the Mount:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5:13-16)

Be a man.  Be the light on the hill.

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of. But all things that are reproved, are made manifest by the light; for all that is made manifest is light.” (Eph 5:11-13)

Be that light.  If others are exposed, if others are scandalized by you, so be it. Be what you are meant to be…and let people deal with it.


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