Daily homily thoughts, 3/10

Today Ezekiel talks about the virtuous person.  He talks a lot about virtue.  I don’t think we do enough of that these days.  The word “virtue” has its origin in the Latin word “vir,” meaning “man.”  To be an authentic person–to live up to what we humans are meant to be, designed to be by God–means being virtuous, or “humanous.”  We are fully and most perfectly human when we are people of the virtues.  When we are not people of the virtues, we are not fully being people; we fall short of what God calls us and designed the human person to be.

The virtues are beautiful because of how concrete they are; if one practices a virtue long enough, that virtue takes root in him.  The virtue of kindness, for example: if I chose to do kind things and say kind words and foster kind thoughts–if I do all that in concrete moments–then, by golly, within a while kindness is a habit, a natural (supernatural?) instinct, and I find myself a kind person.  Same with all the virtues.

The other helpful thing about virtues is that there is always an excess sin and a deficiency sin.  Virtue, as the saying goes, stands in the middle.

Here is a chart I made some time ago of the virtues. It includes the theological virtues, cardinal virtues, etc., with their excesses and deficiencies. It is drawn from a variety of sources.