Virtue contains all the good we can desire in this world, and more perfectly

October 26, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 312

As there is no good which is not included in virtue, we must regard it as an universal good, comparable only to God Himself.

God contains in His Being all perfections and all good. In a certain manner the same may be said of virtue.

All creatures have each some characteristic perfection. Some are beautiful, others honest, others honorable, and others agreeable.

Those among them that possess the greatest number of these perfections have most claims to our love. What, then, is more worthy of our love than virtue, in which all these perfections are combined?

If we seek honesty, what is more honest than virtue, the root of all honesty?

If we look for honor, what is more honorable than virtue?

If beauty attracts us, what is more beautiful than virtue, of which Plato said that were its beauty only seen the whole world would follow it?

If we desire profit, what will we find more profitable than virtue, whose hopes are so exalted and whose reward is the Sovereign Good? “Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and glory.”

If we seek pleasure, what is comparable to the pure pleasures of a good conscience, of peace, of charity, of the liberty of the children of God, of the consolations of the Holy Spirit which always accompany virtue?

Do we desire renown? “The memory of the just is with praises; and the name of the wicked shall rot.” [Prov. iii. 16.]

If we aspire to wisdom, the greatest of all wisdom is to know God and to understand how to direct our life to its last end.

If we would have the esteem and affection of men, nothing will secure it more effectually than virtue; for, to use a comparison of Cicero, as the corporal beauty we admire results from the regularity and symmetry in the members of the body, so from the order and regularity of a good life results a beauty which is pleasing not only to God and the Angels, but even to the wicked and to our very enemies.

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