Thursday, July 31, 2008

Heroic Virtue I

Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Ghent. 1432.

So just what is heroic virtue? We know a person must have this to become a saint.

Benedict XIV described heroic virtue thus:

"In order to be heroic a Christian virtue must enable its owner to perform virtuous actions with uncommon promptitude, ease, and pleasure, from supernatural motives and without humanself-abnegation and full control over his natural inclinations."

An heroic virtue, then, is a habit of good conduct that has become a second nature, a new motive power stronger than all corresponding inborn inclinations, capable of rendering easy a series of acts each of which, for the ordinary man, would be beset with very great, if not insurmountable, diffulties. (source)

What this means is, in short - practice makes perfect. The older I get the more respect I have for those old sayings...they bear the wisdom of the ages. Heroic virtue is attainable, through God's good graces to every man, woman and child. We should all pray to become saints and to practice virtue in every small thing. When we fail, that is what confession is for.

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