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Virtue or Vice?

What are the signs?

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A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. 

Virtue is a good habit. It is....'an habitual and firm disposition to do good.' (CCC 1803). A vice is a bad habit. The main source of a good and happy life is the personal virtue of each individual. No system or set of laws, however perfect, can work for good without virtuous individuals. Personal virtue is the key to improving the world, finding happiness, and helping other people to be good and happy too; yet the ultimate end of virtue is even greater than these great goals: 'the goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.' No secular answer to the question of the goal of virtue can rival this one. (kofc.org).

Vices are the opposite of virtues. They are perverse habits which darken the conscience and incline one to evil. The vices can be linked to the seven, so-called, capital sins which are pride, avarice, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia. (CCCC. 1866-67)

For every virtue there is a corresponding vice. 'So by their fruits you will know them'(Mt. 7:20).

Faith

Hope

Charity

Prudence

Justice

Fortitude

Temperance

Humility and selflessness

Mercy

Mourning

Meekness and Peacemaking

Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

Purity of Heart

Being persecuted

Apostasy

Despair, Presumption

Indifference

Folly

Injustice

Cowardice

Intemperance

The Seven Deadly Sins

(the Capital sins)

Pride

Avarice (Greed)

Envy

Wrath

Sloth (Acedia)

Lust

Gluttony

Our lives are all about relationships. We have earthly relationships, but we also have divine relationships. The natural relationships we have within a family; father, mother, spouse, son, daughter; are a reflection of the relationships between the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Blessed Trinity. In the role of Mary, our Mother, '...everything we need to know about her...was understood within the  bonds of relationship---her relationship to the Father, her relationship to the Son, her relationship to the Holy Spirit, and her relationship to the church. Each relationship was unique, essential, and fruitful....At the heart of these relationships is Mary as the link between heaven and earth. ('The Marion Option, Gress, pgs.115-116).

'All grace,' says St. Maximilian Kolbe, 'ultimately comes to us from God the Father, through the merits of Jesus Christ, His Son, and is distributed by the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit, in distributing all grace, works in and through Mary.'

There is one more relationship we can consider to get a full picture of Mary: the via negativa---that is, her relationship with the devil. Since the beginning in Genesis, we are told about the enmity that will exist between 'the woman' and the perpenat: 'I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shall lie in wait for her heel' (Gn 3:15).

It's easy to understand that everything that is good comes from God. If we keep God in our hearts, then there is no room for the devil. 'Either declare the tree good and it's fruit is good, or declare the tree rotten and the fruit is rotten, for a tree is known by it's fruit.'  (Matt 12:33). And  'A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil (Matt 12:35).

When looking at the information discussed on previous pages of this website, the fruits of two ideologies becomes apparent. Good fruits vs. bad fruits; virtue vs. vice.

Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtues

Second wave feminism--Women's Liberation

Vices

Our divine connection

Leads us to Jesus Christ

Helps to unite us to God

Spouse of the Holy Spirit

Fiercely protects us against the powers of darkness

Life-giving, spiritually and bodily

Pro-family

Pro-life

Self-giving

Humility

Warmth

Tenderness

Mother to ALL 

Peace

Order

Guidance

Hope

Strength

Courage

Goodness

Creativity

She loves us with perfect love

She is our perfect mother

 

Her power comes through her virtues of:

Obedience

Humility

Submissiveness

Meekness

 

She has feminine gifts of:

Love

Affection

Healing

Receptivity

Sensitivity

Nurturing

Understanding

Caring

Compassion

Beauty

Generosity

Destruction of the American family

Destruction of the American Patriarch

Destruction of monogamy

Promotion of Promiscuity

Promotion of eroticism

Promotion of prostitution

Promotion of abortion

Promotion of homosexuality

Practice of occultism

Self-absorption

Self-indulgence

Self-interest

Self-righteousness

Self-importance

Selfishness

Confusion

Twisted thinking

Decadence

Sacrilege

Viciousness

Rage

Obscenity

Sexual license

Nudity

Erasing of gender differences

Cheapening of life

'The beauty of women is not found in any cosmetic surgery, diets, or facial cream. Nor is it in seduction, sarcasm, cynicism, cursing, narcissism, greedy ambition, or power. It is simply in embracing the lives of others, allowing them to live in us, and then to serve their needs. It may not always be glamorous, but it is always beautiful.'

Some secular women, having tried everything, are now considering that perhaps their self-absorbed approach is not working. 'In a shocking admonition, love expert Andrea Miller over at Your Tango, a website dedicated to love and relationships...has suggested the radical idea that the wife's job is, in fact, to make her husband happy. She explains, 'Too often these women---even the strongest, smartest, and most independent of the---weirdly believe that if they inflict enough pain back onto their partners or exact enough control over them, they'll suddenly get with the program. Instead, the opposite usually happens. Their partners---not feeling loved enough and tired of feeling nagged, controlled, and criticized---do the opposite. They withdraw and tune out. And the cycle of drama and dysfunction only becomes more vicious and protracted.

Miller goes on to explain that after realizing the pain she was inflicting upon her spouse wasn't making either of them happy, she tried something else: tenderness, less judgment and punishment, and more affection. The results, she explained, were brilliant. 'I started tuning in much more actively into my husband---prioritizing him, touching him regularly (holding his hand, sitting very close to him, hugging him, rubbing his shoulders, etc.), more actively praising and appreciating him, and ---crucially---not letting my ego get the best of me and not letting my need to be right lead to Armageddon. As a result, I have managed to bring out the best in my husband.'

While bringing out the best in her husband, Miller brought the best of herself---kind, warm, thoughtful, compassionate. For decades women have been told that somehow, we can be happy without these things....

The truly beautiful woman knows that her real goal isn't superficial beauty. The desires of women's hearts are to be beautiful, to be fruitful, to have their dignity respected, and most essentially, to be known and loved. Mary is the perfect model of how all of these things come to pass in the one who is loved by God and who has an authentic relationship with Him. Living Catholicism offers women all of these. 'You open your hand, you satisfy the desire of every living thing.' (Ps 145:16) ('The Anti-Mary Exposed, Gress, pgs. 158-160).