Virtues that are Less must sometimes yield to those that are Greater

January 19, 2022 • 1 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 461
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Section III.

Virtues that are Less must sometimes yield to those that are Greater.

When we are obliged to choose between two commandments we should follow the more important. Observe the same rule with regard to the virtues.

Whenever you are in doubt as to which you should adopt, the less must give place to the greater, if you would avoid confusion.

“The holy Fathers,” says St. Bernard, “have established many practices proper to preserve and increase charity. While these practices attain this end they should be rigidly observed, but if at any time they conflict with charity, it is only just that they should be modified, or omitted by proper authority, for others which will more efficaciously promote this virtue. It would certainly be most unreasonable to observe, through a motive of charity, practices which charity itself condemned. Let such practices, therefore, be faithfully observed as long as they promote charity, but no longer.” [“De Praecepto et Dispen.” c. iv.]

In support of this doctrine the great Doctor cites two pontifical decrees, one of Pope Gelasius and the other of Pope Leo.

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