I have had feedback from readers who want me to go through the list of Garrigou-Lagrange's sins and categories. I did that on two yesterday. I shall try and define the rest, using the texts of the Catholic Church as much as possible. Both the sins and the virtues must be understood.
Now, most Catholics have never heard, unless they have read this blog, that the Life of Virtue is the way we are to be living daily. It is not enough to be broken from habits of mortal or venial sin. It is not enough to stop sinning. That is only the beginning of our walk to and in holiness.
Following the breaking of habitual or even repeated venial sins is the whole new world of the virtues. How many sermons have you heard on the development of the virtues on a daily basis in order to attain heaven and in order to bring about the Kingdom of God, and to support the Church in Her mission of evangelization?
The life of the virtues begins when a child is born. Children vary as to what age they reach the age of reason, but the Church has consistently stated that this age is seven. No excuses can be given for not understanding right and wrong through nurture, as nature gives each one of us this ability. Natural law is part of being human.
Many children show signs of a conscience much earlier than seven. In fact, I know one child who was allowed to make his First Confession at the age of five as he clearly understood good and evil, sin and virtue, right and wrong, even grace, in age-appropriate language.
Many parents will admit that their toddlers "get it" when corrected and the breaking of the will, not the spirit of the child, is a role a parent must accept. If a child is taught virtue early, she has a chance for great holiness.
This sounds like heresy to some parents, but if anyone has ever trained a horse on a lunge-line, you will understand my metaphor. Look at my post on March 27th for this discussion.
The will comes into submission through grace and the life of the virtues begins.
I shall try and share the definitions in the weeks to come.