Seeker of Truth

For those who sincerely seek the truth, and only the truth. All are welcome, Christians, non-Christians, pagans, atheists, agnostics. etc. We hope you will find what you seek for.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The 7 Virtues

The Holy Church has discovered seven holy virtues that fight or
defend against the seven deadly sins/vices. These serve as antidotes
to sin, like medicine to disease.

These seven virtues are (in no particular order except for humility)
humility, patience, vigilance/diligence, chastity, generosity,
abstinence, and kindness.

1) Humility - This virtue is considered the source of all the other
virtues, and therefore the highest among all virtues. It is acts of
humility that leads to all other virtues. If pride/vanity, the
highest of the seven sins, is the source of all evil then humility is
the source of all good - being its exact opposite.

If we combine all the seven virtues (along with its sub-virtues),
what results? The result is love, love is produced. Love, then is the
summation of all the virtues. And let's never forget that "God is
love". He is the ultimate source of love, and all the holy virtues.

Love, the virtues, and all that is good and holy can never exist
without our Almighty God.

Why is it so hard to be humble? Humility is the highest of the seven
virtues but it is also correspondingly, the hardest among the virtues.

The saints themselves valued humility the most. They are the
happiest men and women in this world because of this - that the
secret of happiness is humility.

There's a wise saying: "Only the humble are happy."

In order to be happy, one must be grateful for one's blessings (both
good times and bad). But in order to be grateful, one must be humble
first. Therefore, only the humble are happy.

Only the grateful appreciate their blessings and are happy for it.
Only the humble are grateful. Therefore, only the humble are happy.

2) Patience - This virtue defeats anger, one of the seven deadly
sins/vices. Anger is like a raging fire and patience is the gushing
water that puts it out. Anger, along with lukewarmness, is one of the
most common or frequent among the seven sins.

How hard it is to be patient! You're patient one moment, then
impatient the next.

Why do we become angry in the first place? Analyze yourself when you
give way to your anger. You will notice the truth that you only
become angry when you lose your patience. You get impatient first
before it leads you to anger.

That's why people who are easily prone to anger (I'm sure you know a
lot!) are also impatient people. Being patient is not their cup of tea.

Say, some big-time politician who demands everybody's attention, and
can't be made waiting for her order in a restaurant. The arrogance
and impatience leads the politician to bad-mouth, even threaten the
restaurant's workers in a fit of rage.

When confronted by angry people, you will often be tempted to be
angry yourself. Don't fight fire with fire, you will only fan the
flames. Practice the virtue of patience instead.

It's hard of course, especially when you're being insulted by that
angry person. But if you become patient enough, long enough, you'll
see the angry person start calming down. It's a soothing effect.

3) Vigilance/Diligence - This virtue defeats lukewarmness, one of
the seven deadly sins/vices. Lukewarmness, along with anger, is one
of the most common or frequent of the seven sins.

Ever have the feeling of waking up one morning, feeling lazy? Your
movements are slow, monotonous, like a zombie even. You mutter "it's
just another day like all the rest." That's lukewarmness, you're
neither hot nor cold.

Lukewarmness is a lack of fire, a coldness toward the activities of
life. It is a laziness towards doing good works and spiritual duties,
which eventually only leads to laziness in all aspects of that
person's life.

Observe lukewarm people closely. People who are lukewarm are usually
the ones that avoid spiritual acts, or who do not give importance to
religious works or anything related to it. They prioritize other
things over the spiritual.

They say "I don't have time for the religious meetings at church".
These are the very people who suddenly have enough time for the mall
or the Super Bowl! Talk about double standards.

Then observe people who can fight lukewarmness, people who are full
of zest and joy for life. Their dynamism is amazing. They have that
big smile most of the time, they are always eager to serve God more
by serving others. They do not avoid their spiritual duties or good

It affects their whole life.

These vigilant, dynamic people tend to excel in their daily lives as
well as their spiritual life. They're also the ones who are leaders
in industry, They are always a role model for others to follow and
are an amazing sight to behold!

4) Abstinence - This virtue defeats gluttony, one of the seven
deadly sins.

Why abstain? Abstinence is necessary to fight addictions or
obsessions in life, these things that can take over our lives.
Without the sacrifice of abstaining, we can become virtual "slaves of
our passions".

Addictions. There are quite a lot huh? There are addictions to
almost anything that is enjoyable or gives pleasure. There's
addictions to watching too much TV, addictions to food or over-eating
(gluttony), addictions to over-working (workaholism) as well as other

There are, of course, greater, more dangerous forms of gluttony or
addiction. Drug addiction (narcotic drugs), gambling addiction,
alcohol addiction (alcoholism), etc. have literally destroyed lives
and families.

Why do gluttony, obsessions and addictions have to be so closely
related to something enjoyable or pleasurable? The answer lies in
hedonism. Hedonism is based on the "pleasure principle", a form of
idolatry towards pleasure. It is tied to the belief that pleasure is
a primary purpose of existence.

Pleasure was created by God as a gift to us. There is pleasure in
eating food, in delicious drinks, in sleeping, in achieving
something, pleasure in hard work, etc. God could've chosen to not put
pleasure in these, but He chose to. That alone is enough reason to be
more grateful.

Pleasure, however, becomes harmful when it becomes an addiction or
obsession to a person. When we over-indulge in something pleasurable,
the activity can take over our lives such that we can find it
extremely hard to live life without it. It controls a person, and
that person becomes the slave rather than the master of that passion
or activity.

Abstinence requires the sacrifice of not giving in to the addiction,
of avoiding the activity for a period of time. It is hard and often
takes an iron will, but with God's help through prayers, it has been
done and can always be done again. Abstinence works!

5) Chastity - This virtue defeats lust, one of the seven deadly

Chastity, especially in today's modern world is getting harder and
harder to do for many people. The media and technology have
multiplied the evil tentacles of lust by unheard-of proportions
through the spread of pornography.

The fact that pornography is a multi-billion dollar business in the
US alone speaks for itself. It has led to increased rape of women,
abortions, promiscous sex, sexual perversions, etc.

Lust can be defined as a form of "addiction" or gluttony towards
sexual pleasure or the sexual act.

The practice of chastity is the best way to fight the fires of lust
when it tempts us. Lust is a "fire sin", it tends to try to arouse
our base passions, our instincts. Like dousing fire, we need the
water of chastity to put it out.

In this way, chastity can be a form of abstinence towards the sin of

To be chaste in today's modern smut-filled world is truly hard.
Chastity is a virtue that can be compared to a white robe. During our
birth, we are chaste by nature and our souls can be compared to a
white robe, untainted and pure, white as snow. Innocence is a virtue!

Innocence is not ignorance. The two are very different from each
other. Innocence is a virtue, while ignorance is not. Ignorance comes
from sin and can also lead to sin.

God made the virtue of innocence for an important purpose. A child,
for example, has innocence to protect him/her from matters that will
not be suitable for his/her young age. Hence, you cannot teach "adult
matters" like sex, alcohol, smoking, etc. to a child. The child will
not be "mature" enough to make the choices necessary on such
sensitive topics.

It will not be choice anymore, but a decision based on confusion,
misunderstanding and lack of knowledge.

Ignorance is very different. Say a person murdering a drug pusher
(ala vigilante punisher style), can justify his action by telling
himself that he is doiing good to society. He is clearly ignorant of
the truth that only God, who gave us life can take away life.Not any
human being nor even the state.

But it's not a perfect world. As we grow up, our innocence is
diminished, and we become familiar with sin.

Slowly, like a white robe being tainted with dirt, our soul
accumulates sin as time goes by. The blackness and darkness of sin
enters what was once pure.

We simply are not the same anymore. Something has changed. Sin
causes us to lose our innocence and we can feel this loss so
naturally, without even thinking about it.

It's that dark feeling, negative and fearful.... a lack of peace
that is the usual characteristic of sin.

Chastity can also be applied to married couples as well. Instead of
giving in to the sexual appetite too often (than normal!?), both
partners can practice "abstinence from sex" every once in a while.By
abstaining, we actually increase our own self-control, and we do not
become "slaves of our passion".

And it does help in "family planning", when you and your partner
can't afford another pregnancy. There's this difference in that you
are doing "birth control" the natural way, a way that's allowed by
the Church.

Chastity works!

6) Generosity - this virtue defeats greed or avarice, one of the
seven deadly sins.

We all know generous people. Why? Because there are so few of them!

In current times where economic hardships seem to occur more
frequently, it is getting harder to find generous people. It is
getting harder to be generous as we don't want to take risks with
the uncertain future.

Most people live from paycheck to paycheck. There's always concern
about monthly costs of living, rising prices of commodities, lack of
job security, lesser pension payments and shrinking value, etc.- not
to mention the volatility of oil prices in these times.

And every year, there's that economic reality called "inflation",
which simply means prices of goods and services tend to rise up, not

Before this piece becomes an economics lesson, it's good to know
there's good news out there though.

There's a new trend and this one's something to really be happy
about. there's been a major increase in donations to charity by very
rich people.

If you've been reading the news recently, really rich people,
billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett (with their wives to
boot) have greatly increased their donations to charities especially
their own foundations.

And it's not just limited to the West. Recently, asian action
superstar Jackie Chan donated more than 33% of his fortune (millions
of dollars) to various charities and charitable causes. He was simply
following other asian tycoons who donated from their huge fortunes

It just shows the great truth that people are by nature, kind-
hearted. People are willing to help and do good to others when given
the chance.

7) Kindness - this virtue defeats envy, one of the seven deadly sins.

When faced with temptations of envy, pray for kindness to enter your

Know that God is perfect, and He gives His gifts to each of us for
His own reasons.

We all have different gifts. We only become envious when we feel
someone was given more or we feel we deserve more from God.

But what is it really to be kind?

To be kind means so much more than it sounds. And especially, to be
kind to others is easier to say than to actually do wth consistency.

Our Lord Jesus Himself said it in the Bible: "Even the pagans love
their children."


Many people are usually kind to others so other people will also
repay that kindness. Say, a person helped somebody by giving that
person a loan to pay some hospital bills.

Worse comes to worse, that helpful person may in the future, ask for
some help from the person he/she helped previously. It's a "debt of
gratitude". Debt of gratitude by any other word, is still a debt, and
debts are meant to be paid at some future time.

I know this can confuse, but don't get me wrong here. The principle
of "debt of gratitude" is a splendid thing, amazing even. It is
kindness given, kindness repaid. It's a mutual action, one that
usually makes people do good things to others.

In this sense, it is truly mutually beneficial to people and
promotes doing good and avoiding doing evil to others (to avoid being
treated badly in turn).

But God, Jesus, calls us to do more. The Christian is called to do
so much more than that!

For the Christian, he/she is required to practice "agape" or
"unconditional love", the highest form of love. The true Christian
will help others even without anything in return.

For Christian life requires the highest of love which also requires
the hardest sacrifice, even sufferings. It in turn, however, gives
the happiest life possible in this world...and in the next.