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Monday 8 September 2014

On Virtue, Again-Heroic Virtue

Some readers are still confused on the life of the virtues. I recommend, again, the posts I have mostly referrencing Garrigou-Lagrange on this subject through the tags.

However, a little review is good. Here is Thomas Aquinas:

Summa Theologica  I-II:61:4
Virtue consists in the following, or imitation, of God. Every virtue, like every other thing, has its type [exemplar] in God. Thus the Divine mind itself is the type of prudence; God using all things to minister to His glory is the type of temperance, by which man subjects his lower appetites to reason; justice is typified by God's application of the eternal law to all His works; Divine immutability is the type of fortitude. And, since it is man's nature to live in society, the four cardinal virtues are social [politicae] virtues, inasmuch as by them man rightly ordains his conduct in daily life. Man, however, must raise himself beyond his natural life unto a life Divine: 'Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect' (Matthew 5:48). It is, therefore, necessary to posit certain virtues midway between the social virtues, which are human, and the exemplary virtues, which are Divine. These intermediate virtues are of two degrees of perfection: the lesser in the soul still struggling upwards from a life of sin to a likeness with God — these are called purifying virtues [virtutes purgatoriae]; the greater in the souls which have already attained to the Divine likeness — these are called virtues of the purified soul [virtutes jam purgati animi]. In the lesser degree, prudence, moved by the contemplation of things Divine, despises all things earthly and directs all the soul's thought unto God alone; temperance relinquishes, as far as nature allows, the things required for bodily wants; fortitude removes the fear of departing this life and facing the life beyond; justice approves of the aforesaid dispositions. In the higher perfection of souls already purified and firmly united with God, prudence knows nothing but what it beholds in God; temperance ignores earthly desires; fortitude knows nothing of passions; justice is bound to the Divine mind by a perpetual compact to do as it does. This degree of perfection belongs to the blessed in heaven or to a few of the most perfect in this life.

The greatest blockages to virtue are sin, mortal and venial, and the persistence of our being influenced by our predominant fault.

One flaw can block a life of the virtues, which is why one must beg for purgation.

Heroic virtue is working under horribly difficult circumstances in order to become perfect. One sees, of course, heroic virtue in the lives of the martyrs, but heroic virtue may also point to quiet lives of constant suffering.

For example, a person who is chronically ill, but accepts God's grace to live in suffering cheerfully and with gratitude is exemplifying heroic virtue.

 A man living with a wife who is unsaved, or a woman, like St. Monica, living with a pagan until he died, exhibits heroic virtue in suffering unequal yoking and even derision.

A person unable to pull themselves out of dire poverty but accepts the limitations in grace and peace shows heroic virtue.

Someone who forgives a betrayal from a friend, or from a spouse in a marriage, may show us heroic virtue.

Some holy people in heaven are there because of manifesting heroic virtue, rather than perfection. For example, a person under an oppression may gain heaven through a lifetime of suffering.

Padre Pio showed us many virtues, but he also shows us heroic virtue, as he was persecuted by his own monastery.

So many saints had to endure misunderstandings, or sins, lies, even the envy, of others around them, such as St. Faustina and St. Bernadette.

Heroic virtue means enduring under very difficult circumstances. One person who will be recognized as "blessed" soon is Pope Paul VI. I have maintained for a long time that his holiness, as stated by the Pope Emeritus in December of 2012, is based on heroic virtue.

Paul VI promulgated Humanae Vitae against the advice of many in the Church, indeed, in the Vatican.

As the most significant and prophetic encyclical of our time, this document shows that the Pope endured with heroic virtue. He may have found himself isolated even in his own place for this decision to share God's Will concerning life and procreation.

Some get to heaven purely by martyrdom. Some by actions and consistency of heroic virtue.

As a loyal daughter of the Church, I trust the canonization process and the current Pope to only follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit when expressing opinions from the Chair of Peter.

May many Catholics, who do not reach perfection on earth, merit heaven through heroic virtue. I think we are even now being given the chance.

An Interesting Blog

Some people are willing to spread the news not on msm that there is much more violence in France regarding ethnic groups than what is being reported.

This blog has flaws, but is a great sounding board for issues Europe is facing.

Worth a read. Some of the comments are interesting as well.

Being in schism means not holding the teachings of the Church

Here is something you can do about this: WRITE!

At 1:37 PM -0400 9/6/14, Bob Marshall wrote:


This letter was Faxed today to the Apostolic Delegate who holds Ambassador rank from the Vatican to the United States.
Please share it as you wish.
Delegate Bob Marshall

September 6, 2014
H. E. Most Rev. Archbishop Carlo Vigano
Apostolic Nuncio
3339 Massachusetts Avenue N W
Washington, DC 20008

Your Excellency Archbishop Vigano:
New York's Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick's Day Parade praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. ''I have no trouble with the decision at all ...  I think the decision is a wise one.'' 
His action leaves many Catholics, including elected officials like myself, puzzled and disheartened when we measure Cardinal Dolan's new policy with his predecessor, John Cardinal O'Connor.

In 1993, when GLBT groups and government officials demanded that openly homosexual groups be included in the Parade, Cardinal O'Connor vowed in a St. Patrick's Day sermon that he "could never even be perceived as compromising Catholic teaching."  "Neither respectability nor political correctness is worth one comma in the Apostles Creed."  (New York Times, 1/20/93)
At that time, the New York Times also noted that, "The Hibernians and Cardinal O'Connor have said there is no place for a gay contingent in the parade because it is a Catholic event and the church teaches that homosexual acts are sinful."
Yet, Cardinal Dolan claimed, "Neither my predecessors as archbishops of New York nor I have ever determined who would or would not march in this parade," adding that "the parade would be a source of unity for all of us."  (NYTimes 9/3/14)
Would Cardinal Dolan, as Parade Marshal, applaud the inclusion of Irish abortion clinic owners or Planned Parenthood employees in a Parade honoring Saint Patrick?  On what logical grounds does he applaud openly GLBT marchers and reject openly pro abortion Catholics, including some "Catholic" nuns?

Perhaps organizations which advocate to legalize prostitution and pornography should also be permitted to march?  What about promoters of euthanasia for the elderly and disabled or advocates of physician assisted suicide?  Where does Cardinal Dolan draw the line?

The St. Patrick's Day Parade sponsored by the Irish Catholic Ancient Order of Hibernians under the auspices of and with the blessing of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, is not a purely secular event, despite the fact that secular politicians participate. It honors a Catholic saint who converted pagans to the Faith and away from immoral behavior.

Promoters of homosexual behavior take part in many "gay pride" marches and parades, but these are not events sponsored by the Catholic Church or a Catholic organization.  Therein lies the problem.
Same sex "marriage" advocates say they feel marginalized by the Church, yet the Church has been very clear that it is a hospital for sinners, and no one is sinless. Jesus saves us from being "marginalized" by our sin, so long as we seek Him and seek to do His will.

Everyone who rejects God's word, or who ignores or violates the Ten Commandments (and we all guilty of that) feels "marginalized" at times, but we don't re-write the Commandments to make us feel less marginalized.
News reports indicate that NBC which televises the Parade, New York's Mayor, Guinness Brewery and others were pressuring the Parade sponsors to include openly GLBT groups. Choosing money over truth is never a good choice.

This situation is not about judging individual souls. God loves all his children, and fortunately He is the only one who can judge men's hearts, but we live in a world of actions that have individual, social and legal consequences.

Equality of persons is not the same as equality of behavior. What message does Cardinal Dolan's decision give? The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to hear challenges to state laws allowing only one-man, one woman marriage.  Cardinal Dolan's statement and actions here are most untimely.

I grew up in Washington DC, worked in Congress for six years, have been privileged to serve the people of Virginia as a member of the Virginia General Assembly since 1992, was chief co-sponsor of the 2006 Virginia Marshall-Newman, voter approved one-man, one woman Marriage Amendment, and pro life legislation. I have overridden Governors of Virginia on abortion and GLBT issues, beat the ACLU in federal court on pornography prohibitions, and in 2008 won a precedent setting law suit overturning a tax law supported and defended in court by the Governor, Attorney General and Speaker.

I know from a lifetime in and around politics that federal judges and Members of Congress read newspapers. They are influenced by the actions of moral leaders. They gauge what they can "get away with" by what Catholic prelates "tolerate."

We do our brothers and sisters no service by pretending that God's teaching or the "Laws of Nature and Nature's God" are not important today. No one can change Natural Law or the Word of God, written in the blood of Our Savior for our wellbeing and redemption.

I haven't talked to one Catholic who thinks that what Cardinal Dolan did was prudent or helpful in defending the Faith, marriage or morals. Converts, especially, are distressed.

Some contemporary American Catholics falsely think that "tolerance" is exercised by maintaining indifference towards ideas, opinion or even error, or holding that all points of view are equal. For a Church authority to embrace political correctness at such a time will have consequences which extend far beyond the parade route.

Cardinal Dolan's actions will make enacting legislation in conformity with the Natural Law immeasurably harder to defend especially for lay Catholics or Catholic legislators.

Please pass my letter on to the appropriate Church officials.  Thank you.  You can contact me at 703-853-4213,,,  or

Delegate Bob Marshall

I warned you....

 persecution will be from some of those in the Church. Your neighbors, your priests, your bishops, your families, and so it always was...

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