VI - MORAL LIFE (ETHICS)

Posted by Padre Eugenio Cavallari on 29 January 2016

Law

1 - Law commands rather than helps, points evil out but does not heal it; on the contrary, it increases the evil it does not heal so that the medicine of grace may be sought more carefully and solicitously (gr. et pecc. or. 1, 8, 9)

 2 - The law discloses the culprits, grace frees from guilt; the law threatens, grace entices; the law tends to punish, grace promises forgiveness (s. suppl. 31, 3)

 3 - The law commands, faith obtains (nat. et gr. 16, 17)

 4 - We distinguish four stages in which man can be found: before the law, under the law, under grace, in peace. In the first stage man does not fight against sin and even approves it; in the second man fights, but is defeated; in the third man fights and wins; in the fourth stage man is victorious without needing to fight (exp. prop. Rom. 12)

 5 - The law makes us hearers of justice, grace makes us obey the law. The law nevertheless, by forbidding, increases the desires of sin and, because of this, it kills, unless grace gives life by its assistance (c. ep. pel. 3, 2, 2)

 Virtue

 1 - Virtue is the orderly, that is, the honest rationality (lib. arb. 2, 18, 50) - Virtue is the order of love (civ. 15, 22)

 2 - Virtue detaches man from the sensible world, purifies the soul and submits it to God (vera rel. 4, 6)

 3 - Virtue has to do with action, wisdom with discipline (mor. 1, 16, 27)

 4 - Virtue makes the soul perfect (mor. 1, 6, 9) - Virtue is nothing else than supreme love of God (mor. 1, 15, 25)

 5 - Virtues must be distinguished from vices not by their tasks, but by their ends. A task is what must be done, an end is the reason for which it must be done (c. Iul. 4, 3, 21)

 6 - True virtues are in men for the service of God, by Whom they are given to men. Everything good is done by men, unless it is done for the purpose shown by true wisdom, is sin because of the lack of righteousness of the end (c. Iul. 4, 3, 21)

 7 - Virtue is considered fourfold, as I understand it, according to the aspects of love. As far as these four virtues are concerned (the four famous cardinal virtues), I would have no hesitation in defining them: temperance is love giving itself entirely to what is loved; fortitude is love readily bearing all things for the sake of what is loved; justice is love serving only the loved one, and therefore ruling rightly; prudence is love distinguishing with sagacity between what hinders it and what helps it. The object of this love is nothing else than God, the supreme good, the supreme wisdom, the supreme harmony (mor. 1, 15, 25)

 8 - Whoever possesses one virtue possesses them all; whoever lacks one of them possesses none (ep. 167, 2, 4)

 9 - Prudence cannot be cowardly or unjust or intemperate. The same must be said of justice, fortitude and temperance (ep. 167, 2, 5)

 10 - Even the least of the virtues we consider ours is given to us by God’s goodness (civ. 10, 22)

 11 - In virtue is man’s greatest good (civ. 5, 20)

 12 - Whoever believes and hopes in God with sincere devotion, while loving him, pays more attention to the things he dislikes in himself than to the things truth, rather than he, likes in him. He ascribes his virtues only to God’s mercy; he gives thanks for the ones he has attained and prays for the ones he still has to attain (civ. 5, 20)

 The four natural or cardinal virtues

 PRUDENCE

1 - Prudence consists in desiring good and avoiding evil. The prudence of the flesh desires temporal goods and fears temporal evils (exp. prop. Rom. 41)

2 - The prudence of the flesh is death, the prudence of the spirit is life and peace (s. 155, 10)

3 - There are some authors, and among them Tullius (Cicero), who, in treating the virtues, have divided prudence into these three faculties: memory, understanding, forethought; assigning memory to past things, understanding to present things, forethought to future things, the last-named being certain only in the case of those who are prescient of the future, and this is not a gift of men, unless it is granted from above, as to the prophets (trin. 14, 11, 14)

4 - I call wise men not sagacious and ingenious men, but those who possess, as much as it is possible to human beings, solid knowledge of man and God, and a life and behaviour in agreement with such knowledge. I would consider all the others, whatever their skills or unskillfulness may be, whatever their way of life, as foolish (util. cred. 12, 27)

5 - Prudence must discern the things which are to be desired from the things which are to be avoided. If prudence is absent all this cannot be done. Vigilance is necessary in prudence, so that we may not be deceived by bad ideas creeping into our minds. This is the reason why the Lord often cries: ‘Be awake!’  (mor. 1, 24, 45)

6 - Prudence is such only when it is strong, just, temperate (ep. 167, 2, 5)

7 - All things that are done have no value, unless they are done in reference to the ultimate end (Io. ev. tr. 45, 2)

8 - Whatever we seek in view of another good is not the end; all that is sought for itself and not for a further utility is the end. If you establish your end here you are finished, not because you have attained perfection, but because you are destroyed (Io. ep. tr. 10, 5)

9 - A mysterious unity exists, to which we must tend while we are distracted by the many things of this world. To this goal we tend while we are still pilgrims, not yet in a stable dwelling, but rather still walking toward our fatherland, still desiring and not yet enjoying. Let us nevertheless tend to that place without laziness or interruptions, in order to finally arrive there (s. 103, 1, 1)

10 - The end is the rest of the will (trin. 11, 6, 10)

The four fundamental questions:

 Where am I from?

 1 - God, from whom to be turned away is to fall, to whom to be turned back is to rise again, in whom to abide is to stand firm. God, from whom to go forth is to die, to whom to return is to revive, in whom to have our dwelling is to live. God, who turn us to Yourself. God, who strip us of what is not and dress us in what is. God, who cleanse us, and prepare us for divine rewards, come propitious to me (sol. 1, 1, 3)

 2 - God is for us in predestining us; God is for us in calling us; God is for us in justifying us; God is for us in glorifying us. If God is for us, who will be against us?  (s. 158, 1, 1)

 3 - When God will be all in all, He will be for us in the place of everything (s. 334, 3)

 Who am I?

1 - Do not go out, return to yourself; truth dwells in the interiority of man; and if you will find that your nature is changeable, transcend also yourself, that is, your rational soul. Tend there from where the light of reason is kindled (vera rel. 39, 72)

2 - O Lord my God, tell me out of Your mercy, what are You to me? Say to my soul: ‘I am your salvation’. I shall run after this voice and lay hold on You. Do not hide Your face from me. Let me die, so that I may not die, in order to see Your face (conf. 1, 5, 5)

3 - It is not my concern what you have been. Be what you have not been (en. Ps. 149, 9)

4 - Be what you are not yet and stop being what you are (c. Fel. 2, 12)

Where am I?

1 - Pay attention to deeds, rather than to words. Many people are in the church apparently, but not really; no one, nevertheless, is outside it unless he is really outside (Io. ep. tr. 6, 13)

2 - When you do evil, you think that you are good, because you don’t want to see yourself. You blame others, but you don’t think about yourself. You contemn the time of mercy; the time of judgement will come (s. 17, 5)

Where am I going?

1 - Whatever we seek in view of another good is not the end; all that is sought for itself and not for a further utility is the end (Io. ep. tr. 10, 5)

2 - The end of your desire, of your purpose, of your effort, of your intention is the One to whom you tend (en. Ps. 56, 2)

3 - How long will your ‘tomorrow, tomorrow’ last? Pay attention to the last of these ‘tomorrow’, and since you ignore what the last of these ‘tomorrow’ will be, may it enough for you that until today you have lived as a sinner. It should not happen that you consider God merciful in such a way that He be not also just and truthful (en. Ps. 102, 16)

JUSTICE

 - Justice is based on God’s law (s. 83, 5, 6)

 2 - Justice will prescribe this rule of life to the man who loves God: to serve God, the supreme good, the supreme wisdom, the supreme peace as willingly as possible; to govern all realities subject to him while daring also to subject the remaining things to himself (mor. 1, 24, 44)

 3 - Judge as you can see. Leave to God all you cannot see. When you judge, love the person; hate the vice (s. 49, 5)

 4 - You have judgement when you distinguish evil from good; you have justice when you follow the good and avoid the evil. By distinguishing you exercise judgement, by practising you exercise justice. First you must have judgement, then justice. You nevertheless, by your own efforts alone, will not be able to acquire either one or the other (en. Ps. 98, 7)

 5 - We must realize that our souls have been filled with a certain intelligible light, so that they might perform righteous works and might prefer such a light of wisdom to anything which is loved in the world (en. Ps. 93, 2)

 6 - There are six different kinds of acts, as far as the practice of justice is concerned: to return good for evil; not to return evil for evil; to return good for good; to return evil for evil; not to return good for good; to return evil for good. The first two of these belong to the good, and the first of these two is the better; the last two belong to the wicked, and the latter of the two is the worse; the two in the middle belong to a sort of middle category of persons, but the first of these is closer to the good, the latter to the wicked (en. Ps. 108, 4)

 7 - The category of the righteous strives to reach sublime realities through humility; the category of the unrighteous plunges down to inferior things through pride. The righteous lower themselves in order to rise, the unrighteous lift themselves only to fall down. The consequence is that one of these categories tolerates, the other is tolerated. The purpose of the righteous is to acquire also the unrighteous for eternal life, the purpose of the unrighteous is to to return evil for good and to deprive, if it is possible, also of temporal life those who want to reach eternal life (en. Ps. 36, s. 2, 1)

 8 - The wicked man, if he starts to experience adversities, cannot find any comfort in his conscience; there is no way for him to go out, because outer things are hard; there is no way for him to go inside, because things in his conscience are bad. Evil accompanies the wicked man, he cannot but torment himself with his own torment. He is himself his own punishment, since his conscience afflicts him. He may be able to flee from his enemy, but how will he flee from himself? (en. Ps. 36, s. 2, 10)

 9 - Justice is a good that cannot be possessed badly and cannot be possessed without being loved. Money, on the contrary, is possessed badly by the bad, while the good possess it the better, the less they love it. In the meantime the wickedness of those who possess badly is tolerated, and some rights, called civil rights, are established so that those who use possessions badly may be less harmful (ep. 153, 6, 26)

 10 -  What  justice demands of man is that he love in himself nothing else than God’s gifts and that he hate what is his own, without approving his own sins or blaming them on somebody else (Rom. inch. exp. 9)

 11 - Our justice is He: God! (pat. 20, 17)

 The ten commandments

 The two precepts of love

 1 - ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. One charity, but two precepts; one Spirit, but given twice. The charity that loves one’s neighbour is not different from the charity that loves God (s. 265, 8, 9)

 2 - The commandments: heavenly gifts of God, heavenly teaching coming from the source of truth. Sing on the ten-stringed psaltery. In it is perfection. You can find in it the love of God in three precepts and the love of one’s neighbour in seven (en. Ps. 32, II, s. 1, 6)

 3 - Three strings of the decalogue refer to the first commandment, because God is Trinity; the remaining seven refer to the second commandment, that is, how to live among men  (s. 9, 7)

 4 - The commandments are always necessary in order to govern life in a correct way. Beyond formulation, let us try to grasp the light of the realities themselves that are signified (c. ep. pel. 3, 4, 10)

 5 - What unjust person is not able to talk about justice and to define it? In fact truth itself has written in our hearts, through the hand itself of the Creator, this principle: ‘Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you’ (en. Ps. 57, 1)

 6 - Nobody loves his neighbour unless he loves God and takes care, as much as he can, of his neighbour by loving him as himself, so that he too may love God, whom if he does not love, he cannot love either himself or his neighbour. This is the reason why if a person breaks a commandment becomes guilty of breaking them all, because he acts against charity, on which the entire law depends (ep. 167, 5, 16)

 7 - Love comes from God and love is God. Whoever loves quenches his thirst at God’s source (Io. ep. tr. 7, 6)

 8 - Love is the dilatation of the heart, which is the fullness of the law (en. Ps. 118, s. 11, 1)

 9 - I must love God with all myself, I must love my neighbour as myself (s. 34, 8)

 10 - The more we love God, the more we love ourselves. With one and the same charity we love God and our neighbour: we love God for His sake, while we love us and our neighbour for God’s sake (trin. 8, 8, 12)

 11 - Hold these roots of love and the whole tree is in your hands (s. suppl. 11, 3)

 12 - The measure of loving God is to love Him without measure (s. suppl. 11, 9)

 13 - Loving oneself means wanting to do one’s will (s. 96, 2, 2)

 14 - Whoever does not love is cold, is stiff. Let us love beauty, but that beauty which seeks the eyes of the heart; let us love beauty, but that beauty which sets the souls on fire with the praise of justice (en. Ps. 32, II, s. 1, 6)

 15 - The person loving God on the basis of all that lives in Him is the person who loves himself or herself according to the spirit (vera rel. 12, 24)

 16 - Let us love God gratuitously, let us do good and tolerate evil. And let us hope in Him, so that, when the prize will be given to us, we may be satisfied only by Him (s. suppl.16, 18)

 17 - The love of God, separated from the love of one’s neighbour, becomes individualism; the love of one’s neighbour, separated from the love of God, degenerates into naturalism; the love of oneself, separated from the love of God and of the neighbour, is only selfishness (ep. 243, 4)

 18 - The more God, supreme and unchangeable good and author of all good things, is loved, the more good works delight (pecc. mer. 2, 17, 27)

 19 - One can know or believe something without loving it, but nobody can love what he does not know or believe (spir. et litt. 36, 64)

 a) Loving God

I am the Lord your God

 1 - Lord, since You are God and You created me, You save me; You gave me to be, give me to be well (Io. ev. tr. 34, 3)

 2 - God loves me, God loves you! (en. Ps. 34, s. 1, 12)

 3 - God wants you to become like Him, but you would like to make a god similar to you. Accept God as He is, not as you would like Him to be (s. 9, 9)

 4 - ‘Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he is the one who loves Me’. He has them in his memory and keeps them in his life; he has them in his words and keeps them in his behaviour; he has them because he listens to them and keeps them by practising them (Io. ev. tr. 75, 5)

 5 - ‘Without Me you cannot do anything’. Yes, O Lord, nothing without You, but everything in You. You can do everything without us, we nothing without You (en. Ps. 30, II, s. 1, 4)

 6 - O Lord, you know how to console, to strengthen, to frighten! (en. Ps. 99, 8)

 7 - O Lord, be my inheritance! I love You, I love You with all my being, with all my heart, my soul, my mind! What will it matter for me everything You will give to me except Yourself? (s. 334, 3)

 8 - And You, Lord, God of Israel, God of hosts, go and visit all the peoples! You, who are considered to be only God of Israel and God of one nation, since this nation worships You while the other nations worship idols, You, God of Israel, go and visit all the peoples! Possess all the peoples! May both the good and the evil be invited to the wedding; may the hall of the feast be full of guests! (en. Ps. 58, s. 1, 11)

 1 - You shall not have strange gods before me

 1 - An idol is nothing. The worshippers of an idol sacrifice to the demon, not to God (c. adv. leg. 1, 19, 38) - Each man conforms to what he loves (mor. 1, 21, 39)

 2 - Have you ever noticed how dogs lick the stones besmeared with oil? All the worshippers of idols are like that (s. 121, 3)

 3 - This is the basic aberration of pagan impiety: to consider more important (like those miserable people do) the likeness of an effigy to a living being than the obvious fact that such an effigy is not a living being and therefore must be despised by those who live (en. Ps. 113, s. 2, 6)

 4 - What kind of man are you if you neglect the One who made you and you worship the idol made by you? (en. Ps. 149, 13) - Every defender of idols is similar to those who worship them (s. suppl. 24, 10)

 5 - Not men were being defended by a statue, but a statue by men. Why was it venerated so that it might protect the fatherland and the citizens, if it could not protect its own protectors? (civ. 1, 2)

 6 - The gods themselves were letting those qualities to be attributed to them, while they should have punished their worshippers because they were patiently watching those stage plays, in which more crimes were being shown than divinities (ep. 138, 4, 18)

 7 - Why, first of all, did not their gods want to do something to improve the very bad behaviour of their worshippers? Why did those gods issue no laws which might have helped their devotees to achieve a morally good life?  (civ. 2, 4)

 8 - God not only foretold, but also prescribed the demolition of the effigies of the many and false gods. Nothing, in fact, makes men more unsociable, because of the perversity of life, than the imitation of those gods, as they are described and recommended in pagan literature (ep. 91, 3)

 9 - May those who worship stones be covered with shame. Those stones were dead, but we have found the living stone: Christ. He has always lived with the Father and died only to live again (en. Ps. 96, 11)

 2 - You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain

 1 - God is usefully both loved and feared (c. adv. leg. 1, 16, 27)

 2 - This is the blessing: to glory in God and to be inhabited by God (en. Ps. 5, 17)

 3 - When God blesses us, we grow; and when we bless the Lord, we grow as well. God neither grows because of our blessing nor is diminished by our curse. Whoever curses the Lord damages himself; whoever blesses the Lord increases himself (en. Ps. 66, 1)

 4 - Those who curse the holy name of the Lord are like the tail of a scorpion (s. 105, 8, 11)

 5 - Blasphemy is a more serious sin than perjury, since in perjury God is taken as a witness of something false, in a blasphemy false names are attributed to God (c. mend. 19, 39)

 6 - The most unjust blasphemy is to attribute evil to God and good to oneself (s. 16/B, 2)

 7 - Those who live badly do not praise God; even if they preach well with their tongues, they blaspheme Him with their lives (en. Ps. 47, 10)

 3 - Remember to keep holy the Lord's day

 1 - To do righteousness is to fight in an interior struggle with the interior evil of concupiscence in the true worship of God, while to perfect it means to have no adversary at all. If someone must fight is still in danger, and is sometimes hit, even if he is not thrown to the ground; on the contrary if someone has no enemy at all, rejoices in perfect peace (nat. et gr. 62, 72)

 2 - Every liturgical celebration is a wedding celebration: the feast of the wedding of the Church with Christ. Those who attend liturgical celebrations, if they do it well, become the bride, while in a wedding ceremony the persons who attend are different from the woman who gets married (Io. ep. tr. 2, 2)

 3 - By means of the liturgical assemblies we become apt, with the help of the Lord, who elevates our souls, to attain the intimate penetration of the divinity of Christ, who is in us, through His humanity (en. Ps. 117, 22)

 4 - A hymn is a song in praise of God. A hymn includes three things: the singing, the praise, the praise of God (en. Ps. 148, 17)

 5 - Let us conform our lives to God’s praise: ‘It is fitting for the upright to praise him’ (s. 15/A, 1)

 b) Loving oneself and one’s neighbour

1 - The rule of love consists in wanting that the gifts we want for ourselves may be given also to others (vera rel. 46, 87)

2 - The observance of the love of one’s neighbour starts from oneself (s. 278, 8, 8)

3 - So that man might be able to love oneself, an end was settled for him to which he might refer all his actions, in order to be happy. This end is the union with God. When someone knows already how to love himself and is commanded to love his neighbour as himself, what else is he therefore commanded than to do all he can to encourage his neighbour to love God? This is the worship of God, this is true religiousness, this is the right piety, this is the service due only to God (civ. 10, 3, 2)

4 - By obeying God’s commandments, one grows toward God’s love, in which is the entire perfection. For the love toward one’s neighbour is a sure step leading to the love of God (c. Adim. 6)

5 - Not loving one’s neighbour is a grave sin and the root of all sins (Io. ep. tr. 5, 2)

6 - When the impure love inflames a soul, it encourages it to love the things of the earth. But the pure love inflames and lifts the soul toward the eternal realities of heaven (en. Ps. 121, 1)

7 - If ascents are done in the heart, heaven is to be found in righteousness (en. Ps. 122, 4)

8 - You go up by loving God, you fall down by loving the world (en. Ps. 126, 1)

9 - Let us humiliate ourselves in this world and we shall go up (en. Ps. 126, 6)

10 - We should not progress only by becoming new from old, but also by increasing our newness (en. Ps. 131, 1)

11 - Everyone is exactly what he loves. You love the earth? You shall be earth. You love God? I should conclude: you shall be God! (Io. ep. tr. 2, 14)

12 - It is better to love with severity than to deceive with gentleness (ep. 93, 2, 4)

13 - Love and do not love. May your love be turned toward something good and do not love what constitutes a hindrance (s. 311, 4, 4)

14 - Do not love the defects of your friends if you love your friends (s. 49, 6)

15 - Let us love, let us love gratuitously. In order to love a friend truly, we must love God in that friend: or inasmuch as God is in that friend, or so that He may be in him (s. 336, 2)

16 - May the love toward God, by means of good works, be gratuitous; may the love toward one’s neighbour be beneficent (s. 91, 7, 9)

17 - Bring quickly as many as you can, by exhorting, by carrying, by beseeching, by disputing, by giving reasons, with meekness, with gentleness. Bring them quickly to God’s love, so that, if they magnify the Lord, they may magnify Him together (en. Ps. 33, s. 2, 7)

4 - Honour your father and your mother

 1 - Whoever does not respect his own parents behaves like a dog (s. 8, 7)

 2 - The human feeling of shame has something, in relation to one’s parents, that even wickedness itself cannot take away (civ. 2, 4)

 3 - In spite of difficulties, my dear brethren, in the middle of so various behaviours and despicable corruption, govern your households, govern your children, govern your families. As we have to address you in the church, in the same way you have to act in your homes in order to give good accounts about those who are subject to you. God loves discipline. It is indeed a kind of perverse and false innocence to give free rein to sins. A child takes advantage of the father’s leniency and both shall later experience God’s severity (en. Ps. 50, 24)

 4 - Discipline shapes a person through the exercise of freedom (vera rel. 17, 33)

 5 - God is God, man is man. Love, obey, honour your parents; but if God calls you to a more important mission, in which the affection toward your parents may constitute a hindrance, keep the order, do not destroy charity (s. 72/A, 4)

 5 - You shall not kill

 1 - If it is not allowed to kill one’s neighbour, still less it is allowed to kill oneself. Killing oneself is killing a human being too (civ. 1, 20)

 2 - The better life (the eternal one) does not welcome to itself those responsible for their own death (civ. 1, 26)

 3 - No right of a military authority or of the army itself obliges to kill a defeated enemy (civ. 1, 24)

 4 - If it is not allowed at all to kill even a criminal, I cannot say what a crime it would be if an innocent man should kill himself (ep. 155, 1, 2)

 5 - The justice of the pharisees implies not killing, the justice of the Gospel also not getting angry without a reason (s. dom. m. 1, 9, 21)

 6 - You shall not commit impure acts

 1 - ‘The prudence of the flesh is against God’. It harms the person in which it is, since vice harms the nature in which it is present. The Saviour, the great physician, has therefore come to the humankind, and found no one in good health (s. 155, 10, 10)

 2 - Can it, at any time or place, be unrighteous to love God with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul and with all one’s mind, and one’s neighbour as oneself? Therefore those offenses which are contrary to nature must everywhere and at all times be detested and punished, such as those of the Sodomites. Even if all nations should happen to commit them, they should be held guilty of the same crime by the divine law, which has not made men so that they should abuse one another in that way. And even the fellowship itself which must exist between God and us is violated, when that same nature of which He is author is polluted by the perversity of lust (conf. 3, 8, 15)

 3 -  Only that society is righteous which serves You. But happy are those who know that what is commanded comes from You! For all things are done by those who serve You either to exhibit something necessary at the time or to foretell things to come (conf. 3, 9, 17)

 4 - You can see that loving a human being instead of Christ is adultery. Be chaste, love the bridegroom, who purchased you at a high price (Io. ev. tr. 13, 10)

 7 - You shall not steal

 1 - If someone who hoards his own goods is foolish, what should be called the one who takes somebody else’s goods? If the man who hoards his own goods is sordid, the person who steals is ulcerous (s. 178, 2, 2)

 2 - If you have, give from what you have; if you don’t have, it is better not to give anything than to deprive others in order to give (s. 178, 4, 4)

 3 - Be far from you, brethren, be far from you, children, the habit of stealing! (s. 178, 5, 6)

 8 - You shall not bear false witness

 1 - A lie is a false testimony, even in falsely praising a person (mend. 12, 21)

 2 - If a lie spoken against a man's temporal life is detestable, how much more one against eternal life! Such are all the lies that are related to the doctrine of religion (mend. 13, 21)

 3 - Lies may be a cause of disrepute, but they cannot kill a conscience (s. 343, 2)

 4 - ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour’ (Ex. 20:13). Nobody should, on this account, suppose that he has not broken this commandment if he has borne false witness against himself, since the love of our neighbour is regulated by the love of ourselves (civ. 1, 20)

 5 - The one who, moved by malice, hands over an innocent man to a magistrate so that he may be put to death sins more seriously than the magistrate himself, if this kills him out of fear of a higher authority (Io. ev. tr. 116, 5)

 6 - Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself was crucified because of the statements of false witnesses. But they prevailed only for a short time (s. 343, 2)

 9 - You shall not covet your neighbour's wife

 1 - One thing is not to desire, another is not to follow perverted desires (s. 154, 6, 8)

 2 - Rise, seek, sigh, yearn, and knock at the closed door. If we don’t desire yet, we don’t long yet, we don’t sigh yet, we are going to throw pearls to anyone or to find pearls not necessarily of great value. A certain behaviour leads to understanding; a certain way of living leads to a certain kind of life. One thing is the earthly life, another the heavenly life; one thing is the life of beasts, another is the life of men, still another the life of angels (Io. ev. tr. 18, 7)

 3 - Train yourself to obtain God! Desire for a long time the good you will have to possess forever! (en. Ps. 83, 3)

 10 - You shall not covet your neighbour's goods

 1 - If we are greedy, let us love Him; if we desire wealth, let us desire Him! Only He can satisfy us (s. 177, 9)

 2 - Goods have value inasmuch as we use them out of necessity, not because we should love them. May they be like an inn is for a traveller, not like the estate of a possessor. Restore yourself and continue your journey! (s. 177, 2)

 3 - Keep far from desiring to have somebody else’s possessions (s. 178, 5, 6)

 4 - God commands us to return whatever we have found, since it belongs to someone else. And what if we don’t know who the owner of it is? This kind of ignorance cannot constitute an excuse, unless we are dominated by greed (s. 178, 6, 7)

 5 - If someone does not acknowledge another man’s rights, he may possibly steal something from him too. If he does not act this way it is only out of fear: he does not do what is good, but rather fears something unpleasant (s. 178, 8, 9)

 FORTITUDE

 1 - Fortitude is the spiritual disposition by which we despise all the discomforts and the losses of things that are not under our control (lib. arb. 1, 13, 27)

 2 - Love, which must burn with all holiness in the desire for God, is called fortitude in bearing the loss of the things of the earth. But, among all things which are possessed in this life, the body is man's heaviest bond because of the sin of old, which is well known if we have to talk of it, but is in reality a very mysterious thing and difficult to understand. Because of this bond the soul is shaken with the fear of toil and pain, and with the fear of death, which represents the destruction of it. The soul loves it out of the force of habit, not knowing that, by using the body well, it will make it subject to its authority without any trouble. But when the soul turns to God wholly in this love, by knowing these things it will not only disregard death, but even desire it (mor. 1, 22, 40)

 3 - A good will must be purged from vices, by which, if a man is overcome, he will end up desiring evil. It is to be wished, then, that power may now be given, but power against vices, not men, so that victory may be achieved in truth, not just apparently (trin. 13, 13, 17)

 4 - Let no one look for an efficient cause of the evil will; for it is not efficient, but deficient; there is no effect, but a defect (civ. 12, 7)

 5 - Christian fortitude not only implies doing good, but also tolerating evil (s. 46, 13)

 6 - Do not ascribe fortitude to yourselves. The Lord says: If it is your fortitude and not Mine, it is hardness rather than fortitude (en. Ps. 103, s. 4, 14)

 7 - A certain interior firmness of the soul exists, in which it is never broken. Whatever torments, whatever tribulations and whatever adversities of this world can rage all around; what God has made strong inside us cannot be broken, cannot fall (en. Ps. 138, 20)

 8 - It was alleged as a crime against Christians the very fact that they were Christians. That indeed was glory: the brave gladly received it, and received it in such a way that they didn’t blush at all for the Lord's name. A certain irreverence had covered their faces, and they were having the boldness of Paul saying:  ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes’ (en. Ps. 68, s. 2, 4)

 9 - Fortitude cannot be imprudent or intemperate or unjust (ep. 167, 2, 5)

 10 - Ambition makes pagans strong, divine charity makes Christians strong (c. Iul. imp. 1, 83)

 11 - Reproach is what the enemy casts in the teeth. Confusion is what gnaws the conscience.  Shame is what causes even a noble face to blush because of a false accusation. Christian fortitude opposes all this (en. Ps. 68, s. 2, 4)

 12 - Christian fortitude is in humility, because every pride is frail. Do not fear therefore the proud (en. Ps. 92, 3)

 The seven capital virtues

1 - Am I able to name all the virtues? They are the army of a general who resides inside, in your mind. The Lord uses these virtues as if they were His attendants. Almost only the one who commands inside and the one who receives the commands know who commands inside (Io. ep. tr. 8, 1)

2 - Whoever possesses one virtue possesses them all; whoever lacks one of them possesses none (ep. 167, 2, 4)

 Humility

1 - In visible realities, in order to reach a high place, we must go upward; God, on the contrary, the most sublime reality, is reached not through self-exaltation, but through humility (s. 351, 1, 1)

2 - Go up to the heights with the feet of humility (virg. 52, 53)

3 - Whoever humbles himself gets closer to the Most High (s. 136/A, 2) - If you are humble, the Lord gets closer to you; if you exalt yourself, the Lord withdraws from you (s. 279, 6)

4 - Sons of men, descend so that you may ascend to God; for you have fallen by ascending against God (conf. 4, 12, 19)

5 - Humility talks about truth and truth about humility; that is, humility about God’s truth and truth about man’s humility (s. 183, 3, 4)

6 - Christ: what a lesson of humility! (virg. 32, 32) - In order to teach this humility, necessary for salvation, Christ humbled himself. To it a very ignorant science, so to say, is opposed, by which one is contented with an apparent doctrine, far from true knowledge (ep. 118, 4, 23)

7 - There is almost no page in the Scripture in which it is not said that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (doctr. chr. 3, 23, 33)

8 - I did not have yet enough humility to possess my God, the humble Jesus, neither did I know the teachings of His infirmity. For Your Word raises up to Itself those that subject themselves to It (conf. 7, 18, 24)

9 - Meditate on Christ’s humility, brethren. May He Himself talk about it inside you. May He show you the grace of His humility. Keep hold of this solid reality (Io. ev. tr. 3, 15)

10 - To go inside means to desire the interior things, to go outside means to throw them away (Io. ev. tr. 25, 15)

11 - We must show our love for unity through our love for humility (ep. 69, 1)

12 - We have found the true poor, we have found the pious and humble, who do not trust in themselves, the true poor, members of that Poor Man who, for our sake, from rich became poor (s. 14, 9)

13 - Learn humility in order not to fall; or rather, in order to finally rise (c. litt. Pet. 2, 105, 241) - Salvation is fruit of humility (s. suppl. 22, 4)

14 - The humility of the heart is a sacrifice to God (en. Ps. 130, 4)

15 - We shall be changed into better men just after recognizing that we are men. Humility will raise us to that height. If, on the contrary, we think that we are something while we are nothing, not only we do not get what we are not yet, but we also lose what we are  (Io. ev. tr. 1, 4)

16 - If humility does not precede, accompany and follow all our good actions -being before us so that we may look at it, beside us so that we may cling on it, over us so that we may be disciplined by it-, pride will take away from our hands the fruit of our good works (ep. 118, 3, 22)

17 - Humility is our perfection here on earth (en. Ps. 130, 14); it virtually is the only discipline of Christian life (s. 351, 3, 4) - It is the summit of Christian asceticism, inasmuch as through it charity is preserved, while pride has the power to destroy it (Gal. exp. 15)

Generosity

1 - Divine gifts come from the unfathomable judgement of God; we can admire them, we cannot investigate them (s. 285, 3)

2 - ‘Wisdom manifests her nobility (generositas) in communion of life with God’ (Wis. 8:3). What else nobility implies, unless origin? The communion of life certainly proclaims and asserts the equality of the Son with the Father (mor. 1, 16, 28)

3 - ‘The Father causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good’; which happens thanks to God’s great goodness, and we are commanded to imitate it, if we want to be God’s children. With great liberality we must give to our enemies the things we have not created, but we have received as gifts (s. dom. m. 1, 23, 79)

4 - God the Father is the source of life: get closer, drink and live; He is light: get closer, receive and see. If He does not flow on you, you remain dry (s. 284, 1)

5 - We must do good to others for their eternal salvation’s sake and not for a temporary gain. This is to act out of charity (s. dom. m. 2, 12, 43)

6 - We must give only what is not harmful either to you or to others. Justice itself must be shown to the one who asks if nothing else can be justly given. This way you will give always something, even if not always you will give what is requested (s. dom. m. 1, 20, 67)

7 - May your fervent generosity help the poor more than enrich the avaricious. The alms given to the poor are put into the heavenly treasure, not the gifts given to the greedy (b. vid. 21, 26)

8 - Without generosity we will not be able to do those things in life by which we can conquer heaven. If you are eager to receive spiritual goods, be zealous in giving material goods (en. Ps. 80, 4)

9 - Satisfy the needs of the needy, and God will satisfy your soul (en. Ps. 37, 24)

Chastity

1 - Continence loves the future good and is oriented to it. It seeks honour, it flees disgrace. It is an enemy and a witness of the evils of mortal life (cont. 3, 6)

2 - Continence is to be put in the heart, where the conscience speaks, also the conscience of those who are silent (cont. 1, 2)

3 - The orderly love, which is the chastity of the heart, does not allow greater goods to be considered inferior to lesser goods. Now, whatever can be violated in the body is less valuable than what can be violated in the soul (mend. 18, 38)

4 - In the chastity of the soul it is important to keep innocence and benevolence in whatever concerns the love of one’s neighbour, and piety in all that has to do with the love of God (mend. 19, 40)

5 - Only the chastity which is at the service of the true faith must be considered true chastity (for married people, widows and widowers, virgins) (nupt. et conc. 1, 4, 5)

6 - True chastity cannot dwell in a soul separated from God (c. Iul. 4, 8, 50)

7 - In the war between concupiscence and continence, chastity is the victory of continence, lust the victory of concupiscence (c. Iul. 4, 13, 64)

8 - We resist lust by means of the attraction of holiness, the love for chastity, the vigour of the spirit and the interior harmony which is the fruit of continence (cont. 14, 31)

9 - We must keep the chastity of the soul so that it may remain in the truth (mend. 7, 10)

10 - Every kind of chastity comes from truth; and truth is chastity, not of the body, but of the soul. The chastity itself of the body dwells in the soul (c. mend. 19, 38)

11 - In a sexual intercourse taking place within marriage, not the union itself is to be called chastity, but rather the good use of the evil of concupiscence. By means of this good use, that evil cannot even be called impurity. For it is the bad use of that evil which constitutes impurity, in the same way as virginal chastity consists in not making use of it (c. Iul. 4, 8, 49)

Meekness

1 - Let us admire, brethren, the extraordinary meekness of our Lord. He has brought truth as a teacher, meekness as a liberator, justice as a judge. When Jesus was speaking, truth was being acknowledged; when He was not reacting against His enemies, His meekness was being praised (Io. ev. tr. 33, 4)

2 - What is not to return evil for evil, unless shrinking back from the desire of revenge, while preferring to forgive a wrong than to take vengeance? And what is the State, unless the common good of the people? What is a community of citizens, unless many people united among themselves by a certain bond of concord? (ep. 138, 2, 9-10)

3 - The meek read the Sacred Scripture or listen to it piously, while accepting its authority. If something in it is said against their sins, this does not become a cause of controversy, but they pray so that they may understand (s. dom. m. 1, 11, 32)

4 - The meek are those who, in everything good that happens to them and in every good work they perform, don’t like anything else than God, while, in all bad things they suffer, they don’t dislike God (s. 81, 3)

5 - You want to possess the earth, but be careful not to be possessed by it. You will possess it if you are meek, you will be possessed by it if you are fierce. Being meek means not to resist your God, so that, in everything good you do, you may like Him and not yourself, and in everything you justly suffer you may not dislike Him, but yourself (s. 53, 2, 2)

6 - In this our remedy consists, brethren: ‘Learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart’. Of what avail is it, if someone performs miracles, but is arrogant, and not meek and humble of heart? (s. 142, 11)

Sobriety

1 - Sobriety belongs to the knowledge itself of truth, that is, to discipline; justice and virtue to acting and operating. Efficacy in acting and sobriety in understanding are gifts given by the Virtue and Wisdom of God to all those who love Him (mor. 1, 16, 27)

2 - No sober person can decide against reason, no Christian against the Scriptures, no peacemaking person against the church (trin. 4, 6, 10)

3 - To become ill, a man employs himself up to intemperance; to recover, on the other hand, he relies on the doctor up to health. Therefore it cannot be in his power to recover health as it was to lose it (s. 278, 1, 2)

4 - I was going farther and farther from You, where You permitted me to go, and I was being tossed here and there, and I was flowing away, and I was scattered in all directions, and I was boiling with my fornications, and You were keeping silent (conf. 2, 2, 2)

5 - While the humankind was lying on the great bed of the world, that great physician came to the rescue. He first sent His prophets, who were bringing His word, and He healed some people by means of them. They predicted an exacerbation of the illness toward the end of it, which would require the presence of the doctor Himself. He came, He became man and shared our mortality, so that we might share his immortality. But men are still suffering from that illness and it looks like the coming of the physician has not been helpful. These are, in fact, the complaints of those who are immersed in the illnesses of worldly vanities, since they have refused to receive from the doctor the potion of sobriety (s. 346/A, 8; s. suppl. 5, 15)

Emulation

1 - To the unrighteous man we say: Love what you now envy, because you also will be what causes pain to you. If you envy a righteous man for what he is, it is in your power to be like him as well. It is not something you have to buy, it is gratuitous. You can get it immediately: ‘Peace on earth to the people of good will’ (en. Ps. 139, 8)

2 - ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world’, so that the earth may bring forth a living soul in the fountain of life, a soul that is temperate in Your word, by means of Your evangelists, by imitating the followers of Your Christ, since a man is stimulated to emulation by his friend. ‘Be -says Paul- as I am, for I am as you are’ (conf. 13, 21, 31)

3 - Be similar to God through your piety and love Him by thinking about Him. Observe and admire the creatures, seek their Author (en. Ps. 99, 6)

Enthusiasm

1 - ‘I have come to bring fire to this world’ (Lk. 12:49). The fire is God’s Word: Christ Himself. He is truly a devouring fire: the divine love consumes the old life and renews man. It is because God is a devouring fire that we love Him; it is because He is jealous that He loves us. Do not fear the fire that God is, fear rather the fire that God has prepared for the heretics (c. Adim. 13, 3)

2 - May the flame of Your love set afire my whole heart, may nothing in me remain for myself; I want to burn entirely in You, inflamed by You (en. Ps. 137, 2)

3 - ‘A fire shall precede Him and burn up His enemies on every side’. The fire of hell will follow His coming. This fire preceding Him must be understood as a means of salvation for the redeemed (en. Ps. 96, 6)

4 - Every minister of God, if he’s really fervent in spirit, is burning fire. Start to be fervent in charity through the word you hear and observe what the fire, minister of God, has done in you (en. Ps. 103, s. 1, 16)

5 - Let not the fire of Christ be feared; it consumes hay. For all flesh is hay, and all the glory of man like a flower of hay. Such are the things Christ burns with that fire (en. Ps. 59, 2)

TEMPERANCE

 1 - Man’s perfect rationality, that is virtue, uses also the things from which it abstains in view of temperance (div. qu. 30)

 2 - Temperance commands to take foods and to enjoy other pleasures with moderation (civ. 5, 20)

 3 - Temperance curbs passions as reason regulating pleasures (sol. 1, 10, 17)

 4 - Man has the power to be ill also in the body, but has not the same power to regain health. If therefore he neglects sobriety and lives in intemperance with acts that undermine his bodily vigour and health, soon he becomes ill, but he cannot recover his own strengths immediately in the same way (s. 278, 1, 2)

 5 - To become ill, a man employs himself up to intemperance; to recover, on the other hand, he relies on the doctor up to health (s. 278, 1, 2)

 6 - Temperance is a virtue that disciplines and heals the soul. It is divided into two parts: repression and instruction. Repression is attained through fear, instruction through love. Whoever provides help, in fact, neither represses nor instructs unless by love (mor. 1, 28, 55-56)

 7 - We govern ordinary things through temperance, by which we comply with human realities (adn. Iob 39)

 8 - It is forbidden for us to be curious, which is a great task of temperance (mor. 1, 21, 38)

 9 - Against the law of reason no orderly intellectual, moral or physical life can be founded (contra rationem nemo sobrius) (trin. 4, 6, 10)

 10 - I was going farther and farther from You, where You permitted me to go, and I was being tossed here and there, and I was flowing away, and I was scattered in all directions, and I was boiling with my fornications, and You were keeping silent (conf. 2, 2, 2)

 11 - Many people are immersed in the illnesses of worldly vanities, since they refuse to receive from the physician the potion of sobriety (s. suppl. 5, 15)

 12 - Acknowledge that you are weak, acknowledge that you are a man, acknowledge that you are a sinner, acknowledge that Christ justifies, acknowledge that you are defiled (s. 137, 4, 4)

 13 - We are besieged by voices of love against the law of God. On every side they seduce us and impede us from flying; everywhere visible realities force us, so to say, to love them. But let us try not to be forced, to judge them for what they are, and not to be overcome... The love for the many things is won by the love for the only good (s. 65/A, 2)

 14 - A temperate man should not love anything from down here, should not consider anything desirable for itself, but should use these things with moderation -and not with attachment to them- for the necessities of this life and of its duties (mor. 1, 21, 39)

 15 - Do not underestimate those sins to which you are already accustomed. Every sin, by becoming a habit, seems to lose importance, as if it were nothing. We are sometimes too lenient in dealing with habitual sins; we are afraid that, if punishment is given, the punished person may become worse. But will the Lord, whom we should really fear, keep silent and forgive? (s. 17, 3)

 The capital vices

Pride

1 - Pride is the desire of an upside-down superiority (civ. 14, 13, 1) - Perverse imitation of the divine omnipotence and unity (vera rel. 45, 84)

2 - Pride is a shadow of the true freedom and of the true kingdom. Providence, also through it, reminds us of what we are a sign as sinners and where we must return once we are amended (vera rel. 48, 93)

3 - Pride makes man fear more the dislike of other men than God’s judgement (virg. 34, 34)

4 - Pride means abandoning the secret place of one’s soul and desiring to appear what one is not (Gn. c. man. 2, 5, 6)

5 - God hates pride in such a way that He -the Most High- humiliated Himself so much in order to fight this only capital vice (virg. 40, 41) - Pride is the gate of hell (s. 346/B, 3)

6 - Through the swelling of pride man prevented himself from seeing God (adn. Iob 15)

7 - A proud man is a very miserable thing, but a humble God is a greater mercy (cat. rud. 4, 8)

8 - Pride is the cause of all human vices (pecc. mer. 2, 17, 27) - The first worm gnawing riches is pride (s. 85, 3, 3)

9 - The vice of pride originates when someone trusts too much in himself and thinks that he himself is the source of his own life (spir. et litt. 7, 11)

10 - All other vices are active only in evil acts, only pride must be guarded against also in good acts (nat. et gr. 27, 31)

11 - Let no one boast about his strength, let no one be proud of his free will. You, if you are alone, are only able to sin; in order to act well you need help (s. 265/D, 7)

12 - In man, pride and fiction are necessarily together, inasmuch as the proud want to appear as they are not (en. Ps. 121, 8)

13 - The proud soul, loving its own power, slips downwards from the whole, which is common, to something particular, private to itself. Such pride, a force of separation, is called the beginning of sin (trin. 12, 9, 14)

14 - Being greedy: to consider oneself more than one is (s. suppl. 9, 5)

Greed

1 - Avarice means wanting to be rich (s. 85, 6, 7)

2 - Avarice, the root of every evil, prevents us from serving God in a gratuitous way; in particular it is love for money (en. Ps. 118, s. 11, 6)

3 - Not only whoever accumulates other people’s goods is greedy, but also who keeps with avarice his own goods. Whoever keeps and accumulates many things should be careful not to accumulate what may be the cause of his death (s. 107, 5, 6)

4 - It is known that the more people are lofty, the more they are greedy; the more they are important in this world, the more they love their own wealth (en. Ps. 146, 16)

5 - The first human beings (Adam and Eve) would not have been deceived by the serpent neither would they have fallen down from their condition if they did not want to possess more than they had received and to become superior to what they were by creation. The serpent had promised to them: You will be like gods. Since they wanted more than they had received they lost also what they had received. As far as we are concerned, every trace of avarice is removed if we serve God in an unselfish way (en. Ps. 118, s. 11, 6)

6 - To want something more than God is greediness; to want something more than it is necessary is greediness. What is more arrogant than someone for whom God is not enough? This arrogance, which is also unrestrained greediness, is at the origin of every sin (s. suppl. 26, 33)

7 - God commands you to clothe the poor and you do not do it, avarice commands you to commit a fraud and you do it (en. Ps. 96, 15)

8 - God says to you: You can be greedy as much as you can, but, in order to satisfy your greediness, call Me, who for your sake have made My Son poor, who was rich. Do not seek only the things God has made, get also their maker! Here are His riches and His poverty: riches by which you have been created and poverty by which you have been restored (s. 239, 5, 6)

Lust

1 - Lust is the appetite of the soul by which temporal goods are preferred to eternal goods, whatever they are (mend. 7, 10)

2 - May lust excite our body only when we want and it is not an illness -the illness of desire or concupiscence (nupt. et conc. 2, 33, 55)

3 - Not every illness is called a sin. As a matter of fact, lust -which is an illness- is a punishment for sin, without which human nature, which is not yet completely healed, cannot exist (c. Iul. 4, 10, 56)

4 - Lust does not love man, but certainly stimulates him to love what he should not love (c. Iul. imp. 3, 85)

5 - Whoever does not yield to concupiscence is not a victim of it. Concupiscence’s weapon is sensible attraction; may yours be tenacious opposition. If you persevere, it starts to be less aggressive (s. 335/J, 3)

6 - If you rely only on yourself, you are alone; but when, without relying on your capabilities, you entrust yourself to God and you attribute to Him every progress made, you make space for the Holy Spirit (s. 335/J, 4)

7 - Where there is no longer my ‘I’, there I am in a more sublime and fortunate way (cont. 13, 29)

Wrath

1 - Anger is our turbulent desire to remove everything that impedes our action. Because of it, in writing or playing, we get angry with the pen or the dice (ep. 9, 4) - Anger is an unrestrained desire of vengeance (s. 58, 7, 8)

2 - We don’t want to be defeated by men, but we cannot defeat anger (vera rel. 45, 85) - Man’s anger can be averted by a stronger man (adn. Iob 9)

3 - Hatred insidiously creeps into us, since no one who is angry considers his anger to be unjust. Anger, once cherished for a long time, becomes hatred, since the sweetness which is mingled with what appears to be just anger makes us keep it longer than we should in the vessel of our heart, until the whole is soured, and the vessel itself is spoiled. It is, therefore, much better for us not to get angry, even if it seems just anger, than to fall into hatred without realizing it (ep. 38, 2)

4 - Hatred is deep-rooted anger that, by rooting deeply in the heart with the passage of time, becomes so solid that it may be rightly considered to be a log (s. dom. m. 2, 19, 63)

5 - The speck in the eye is anger, while the log in the eye is hatred. By feeding anger with bad suspicions, we make it become a log (s. 82, 1, 1)

6 - Anger and division are the fruit of diabolical obstinacy, humility is the fruit of Christian docility (c. ep. Parm. 1, 4, 8)

7 - I fear God’s wrath, my brethren: God does not fear crowds (s. 302, 20)

8 - God’s wrath is an emotion which is produced in a soul which knows the law of God, when it sees that this same law is transgressed by a sinner; by this emotion of righteous souls many things are avenged. God’s wrath can nevertheless be correctly understood as that darkening of the mind which pursues those who transgress God’s law (en. Ps. 2, 4)

9 - God’s punishment of sins, which is necessarily just, has taken the name of anger (ench. 10, 33)

10 - ‘Be angry, and do not sin’. These words may be taken in two ways: either, even if you get angry, do not sin, that is, even if an emotion arises in the soul, at least let not the reason and the mind consent to it; or: repent, that is, be angry with yourselves for your past sins, and cease to sin for the future (en. Ps. 4, 6)

Gluttony

1 - We repair the daily decays of the body by eating and drinking, until You destroy both food and stomach, when You shall have destroyed my want with an amazing satiety and shall have clothed this corruptible reality with eternal incorruption (conf. 10, 31, 43)

2 - You have taught me that I should approach foods in order to take them as if they were medicines. But while I am passing from the uneasiness of want to the calmness of satiety, in that very passage the snare of concupiscence lies in wait for me. For the passage itself is pleasure, nor is there any other way of passing there, where necessity compels to pass (conf. 10, 31, 44)

3 - You, O my God and master, deliver me from all temptation. It is not the uncleanness of food that I fear, but the uncleanness of desire (conf. 10, 31, 46)

4 - Placed in the midst of these temptations, I strive daily against longing for food and drink. For it is not of such a nature that I am able to resolve to cut it off once and for all and not to touch it any longer, as I was able to do with sexual intercourses. The bridle of the throat, therefore, is to be held by combining in due proportion slackness and tightness. And who is not, O Lord, carried away in some degree beyond the limits of necessity? (conf. 10, 31, 47)

Envy

1 - Envy is the greatest unhappiness (civ. 9, 14) - Envy consists in hating somebody else’s happiness (en. Ps. 104, 17)

2 - We must not think that envy and jealousy are the same thing. Jealousy is a kind of interior suffering that is experienced when someone obtains something that also others were desiring. Envy is that kind of interior suffering that we experience when someone obtains something undeservedly, even if we were not desiring that thing (Gal. exp. 52)

3 - Pride is the cause of envy (Gn. litt. 11, 14, 18) - Pride is the love of one’s excellence, envy is the hatred of somebody else’s happiness (Gn. litt. 11, 14, 18)

4 - Envy, work of the devil, comes from him and remains in him (c. Iul. 1, 8, 41)

5 - God’s jealousy is an act of justice, very serene and genuine, by which no soul that is corrupted and somehow burdened by false opinions and perverse desires is permitted to be happy (c. Adim. 11)

6 - The devil, having lost the kingdom of heaven, did not want man to reach it and also now does not want it, but acts in such a way that man may never reach the place from which he was thrown down. As far as we are concerned, we pray against the one who cannot amend himself and for those who can (en. Ps. 139, 8)

7 - Remove envy from your heart and what I have will be yours; I’ll remove envy from my heart and what you have will be mine. Envy divides, sanity unites. Love, and you will have everything; without love, on the contrary, everything you have will be useless (Io. ev. tr. 32, 8)

Sloth

1 - Sloth is mother of ignorance (doctr. chr. Prologue 1)

2 - ‘I sleep, but my heart is awake’ (Song 5:2). I rest while listening; my free time is not used to cultivate laziness, but to reach wisdom. I abstain from every anxiety in order to contemplate you as Lord (Io. ev. tr. 57, 3)

3 - The owner of the vineyard has promised the same wages to all, but the point is at what time we must go and work. Why are you postponing the work to which you are called? Be careful not to lose, because of your delay, the reward He has promised to you (s. 87, 6, 8)

4 - If this can be referred to small children, belonging to the first hour; to boys and girls, belonging to the third hour; to young people, belonging to the heat of midday; how much more this must be referred to elderly people, belonging to the eleventh hour, the last hour. It is already the last hour and you are not moving yet, you are reluctant to go? (s. 87, 6, 8)

5 - We are Christians, O my brethren, and we all want to journey toward our fatherland. Even if we don’t want, we journey anyway: nobody is allowed to stay, the changeableness of times pushes forward all who come into this life. There is no place for laziness: walk, so that you may not be pulled along (s. suppl. 5, 5)