Saturday, October 22, 2011

Heavenly Habits: Temperance

Continuing our look at the cardinal virtues with number three up close and personal.
Temperance is the virtue by which a person uses balance. It's the good habit that allows a person to relax and have fun without crossing the line and committing sin.

The Catholic Church believes that human beings are permitted to participate in legitimate pleasures but that, often, society and culture lures people into excesses in the direction of either extreme...

... practicing temperance means knowing when to say when. It's knowing your limits and keeping them. For example, a kiss and a hug don't have to end in passionate sex, and an argument doesn't have to deteriorate into a fist fight. Temperance is establishing, respecting, and enforcing boundaries. Self-control is the key. Having a good time without it becoming an occasion of sin or a sinful act is what temperance is all about.
Catholicism For Dummies by John Trigilio
Recommended reading: Back to Virtue by Peter Kreeft. He examines the virtues in depth and also looks specific virtues and Beatitudes as antidotes to each of the seven deadly sins. Not a new concept but one that he writes about superbly (as always).

Next up: Fortitude.

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