Living A Life of Grace (Part 3)- Moral Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude


By Rev Fr William Goh


By Rev Fr William Goh
Set of 4 cds

In this third and final series of the talks on virtues, we deal with the moral virtues. Since moral virtues are many and it is not possible to cover all of them, theologians normally group them under four basic cardinal virtues, namely, Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude. Moral virtues rectify the various faculties of the soul with regard to the means to attain our union with God.

Talk 1: The Moral Virtue of Prudence
The virtue of Prudence is often misunderstood as being cautious. Prudence is a special virtue infused by God on the intellect, enabling it to discern and judge wisely the morally good thing to do under specific circumstances. One can thus act wisely by choosing the right means to achieve the good that will lead one ultimately to union with God. Prudence is particularly necessary as it is a guide to the judgement of the conscience. All other virtues can be practised with perfection only with prudence, and the moral virtues all hinge on prudence.

Talk 2: The Moral Virtue Of Justice
Justice is understood as giving to others their due rights. But the world does not agree on the rights of persons. Justice is an infused virtue that perfects the will, not the intellect, as it concerns the practical action with regard to our relationships with others. Justice refrains from doing evil to others, but instead does good to all. Hence, justice has to be treated under different aspects. Legal justice deals with the common good of society; distributive justice concerns the fair distribution of the world’s goods; and commutative justice with the rights and duties of the individual person.

Talk 3: The Moral Virtue Of Fortitude
The cardinal virtue of fortitude is more than courage. Rather, it is a quality, moral or spiritual, in which one is able to suffer hardships and overcome fears that discourage one from doing the right thing. A person with fortitude stands firm in hope against every form of pressure and attack. With this virtue, one can remain faithful and patient in all circumstances in life, especially in living out one’s vocation and responsibilities.

Talk 4: The Moral Virtue Of Temperance
Temperance is often associated with abstinence. Positively, temperance is to live a life of moderation with respect to our appetites; sensual, spiritual or intellectual. It is that inner guide that moderates and restrains our natural appetites, directing them for the greater good of oneself, particularly in our relationship with God and our neighbour. Only a person with self-control , who lives a balanced life can find true happiness.