Throughout the Bible, from Genesis to 2 Peter, the term "righteous" may be found as applied to men.
Several references to "righteousness" may be found in the Psalms, particularly.
But, what is meant by righteousness and what does a righteous man look like?
The first characteristic which comes to my mind is that a righteous man is one who prays, daily, frequently.
He would be pure of heart, and not subject to the whims of the worldly. He would exhibit real virtue, which means that he has come through the Dark Night and entered into the freeing up of the virtues given in baptism and confirmation.
He would read the Scriptures and follow the teachings of the Church, knowing the details which would apply to his life and the life of those around him. He would, therefore , follow the Truth, be dedicated to study and appropriating his faith.
The righteous man would not only be pursuing personal holiness, but would be concerned about those who are in need. being compassionate and generous.
A righteous man would be, above all things, obedient to the Church and, perhaps, show the most basic and key virtue, that of humility.
Without humility, one cannot be judicial, exhibit prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude, the four cardinal virtues. Without humility, one cannot be cooperating with grace.
I have been meditating for several days and I must admit I have never met a truly righteous lay man.
I have met many who are trying to be righteous, but fall into worldly attitudes of chasing status, money and comfort. I have met several in the Dark Night, and many who are, thankfully, beginning the life of perfection.
A man cannot be righteous without receiving the sacraments as much as possible. Weekly confession would be another beginning of the way of righteousness.
Above all, a righteous man would love God before all others, including the members of his own family. He must be willing to sacrifice for the Kingdom of God. Too often, the "family name" causes compromises in this world.
Too many men idolize their jobs, their families, their own position in society. To break away from egotism is essential for a life of righteousness.
If you are a new-be Catholic, and want to be righteous, follow Christ and His people. If you are struggling to be righteous, continue on the road of holiness and do not give up. Surround yourself with holy men.
Do you want to be righteous, but cannot find men in your area who are righteous, look to these men for examples.
Bernard of Clairvaux
Karl of Austria
...and the many, many saints who have gone before us who have achieved the name of "saint" or "blessed".
May God raise up righteous men and may men who desire to be righteous respond to grace, the grace of righteousness. If there are righteous men, there will be holy families.