Updated: Nov 4, 2021
We are all here for a reason. Ultimately, that reason is to give glory to God and to become saints in heaven. It’s important to take a step back from our other goals in life to remember the final goal. It gives meaning and purpose to our lives. Of course, in striving to become saints we do encounter obstacles. Most likely, we fall from time to time in various ways; then, hopefully, we allow the mercy of God to pick us up, free us from sin, and help us to move onward and upward.
One of the great masters of the spiritual life, St. Francis de Sales, reminds us that the most effective way to avoid sin is to cultivate virtue. Focusing on leading the virtuous life keeps us positive as we work towards our heavenly goal. And where do we start? There are seven principal virtues in the Christian life; all other virtues come under the heading of one or more of these seven. First, there are the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. They are called “theological” because they deal principally with our relationship with God (although Charity certainly should be part of our relationships with one another). Then there are the four cardinal virtues, so called because the Latin word cardomeans “hinge,” and many other virtues depend on these four as a door depends on its hinge. They are Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance.
As with all things Catholic, I refer you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for more information on the virtuous life. (See especially Part Three, Article 7.) Also, remember that you can get lots of good information on Catholic living from the website “Formed.” Together let’s journey forward in living the virtuous life!