Book: The Virtues
Author: Romano Guardini
Sophia Institute Press, Manchester, NH pp.163
Excerpt from Introduction:
For the Greek, virtue, arete, was the name of the nobleminded, culturally developed man; for Roman, virtus signified the firmness and solidity which the noble man maintained in public and private life; the Middle Ages understood by virtue (tugent), the conduct of the chivalrous man. But gradually this virtue became well-behaved and useful, until it received the curious tone which causes aversion in the normal man.
If our language had another word we would use it. But it has only this one: therefore we want to begin by agreeing that virtue denotes something living and beautiful.
Then what does it mean? It means a very modest virtue, such as orderliness. This means that a person knows where a thing belongs and what is the proper time for an action., also what measure is valid in any instance and what is the relation of the various matters of life to each other. It indicates a sense of rule and recurrence and a feeling for what is necessary so that a condition or an arrangement may endure. When orderliness become a virtue then the person who practices it does not wish to realize it only in a single decision; for instance, if he ought to work and instead would like to do something else, yet pulls himself together and does what the occasion requires. Orderliness becomes an attitude of his whole life, a disposition which prevails everywhere and determines not only his personal actions but even his surroundings, so hat his whole environment acquires a quality of clarity and reliability.
Table of Contents:
On the Nature of Virtue
Justice Before God
Excerpt from Book:
Courage is the confidence requisite for living with a view to the future, for acting, building, assuming responsibilities and forming ties. For, in spite of our precautions, the future is in each case the unknown. But living means advancing into this unknown region, which may lie before us like a chaos into which we must venture.