“The virtue of temperance and moderation aims at preserving man uninjured and undefiled for God.” God is all about transforming His beloved. Temperance allows God to discipline man to become more like Christ. By his love and grace we are made whole. God’s discipline purifies us and transforms our hardened hearts into trustful hearts. God has put limits to protect us. These limits purify us to be in union with God on the Last Day.

The Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance come to reality in faith, hope, and love. Faith in Christ brings all virtue to perfection. Hope in Christ and the culmination of God’s kingdom make all the virtues “worth it.” And love (agape/charity) is what drives all virtue.

To weigh the pros and cons of a situation and coming to a good decision (in a virtuous man) always considers justice. These two virtues are the beginning of wisdom. Fortitude is facing the decision made through prudence and what is rightly owed (justice). Fortitude gives the man courage to stand up against evil and fulfill his good decision in the midst of opposition. Temperance disciplines self-seeking pleasure. Prudence is knowing the Good. Prudence is the measure of all the other virtues. One cannot be just, fortitudinous or temperate without knowing the Good. Faith in God begins virtue. In order to have fortitude, one must know the Good and hope in some good and be driven by love and justice. Justice must be driven by love because one is considering action toward the neighbor. One must fight against what is evil and not be complacent when one knows the good of a given situation. In the same sense, one must be gentle in the decision made to bring about the most good. There are exceptions in all decisions. One must have wrath against evil and be passionate, within reason, but also compassionate. There cannot be one or the other toward evil. Christ will return and have absolute wrath against the evil and compassion toward the repentant.

To be a virtuous man begins with God. He has given man His goodness in the image of God. Knowing God’s goodness, brings justice, which is fortified by fortitude, which temperance humbles man to know all the other virtues. Being in a relationship with God makes the virtuous man. God sets limits because they are good for the man. He gives man courage to move forward through obstacles set by the world, Satan, and self-centeredness. He gives us wisdom of Goodness to make prudent decisions and just decisions, which are the highest because the decisions affect the neighbor, (individually and communally) and the self. God has given virtue to bring order and all under his wing.

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