A Friend Indeed – Part 6 of 7

Continuing his discussion of the varieties of permanent assistance God offers us, Father Geiermann mentions another kind of assistance in the supernatural order: infused virtues.

“The supernatural virtues which God imparts to the soul with sanctifying grace are the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, and the moral virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. The infused virtues elevate man’s faculties to a divine plane, the theological virtues enabling man to unite himself to God, and the moral virtues to act in harmony with Him.”

“Thus faith empowers man to view the economy of God’s work from the true, immutable, eternal standpoint of his heavenly Father, while hope gives him the confidence and courage necessary to face the problems of time and eternity as a child of God, and charity helps him to live in union with God amid all the labors and trials of life. In the same way prudence enables man to take counsel, to judge, and to determine by the light of faith, justice to be fair with God, his neighbor and himself, fortitude to labor and endure as a follower of his crucified Master, and temperance to keep his place at all times while pursuing his destiny according to the plan of God.”

“There is a threefold difference between the natural cardinal virtues and the infused moral virtues, which supernaturalize them: (1) the former man can acquire by his unaided will; the latter are always the gifts of God; (2) the former man may practise for their own sake; the latter must be animated by love for God; (3) the former he can develop by a persevering good will, the latter, God intensifies in proportion as man places the proximate occasion, or gives Him the opportunity, by trying to act in harmony with Him.”

Quotations from Peter Geiermann, The Narrow Way (New York: Benziger, 1914).

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