How to Live Well

05-15-2022Weekly Reflection

To live well is nothing other than to love God will all one’s heart, with all one’s soul and with all one’s efforts; from this it comes that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude). It obeys only [God] (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence)

— St. Augustine De moribus ecclesiae 1,25,46
Catechism of the Catholic Church: #1809

Temperance keeps God’s love from being sacrificed to lesser loves and unguided emotions. Fortitude maintains the choice of God in tough circumstances. The martyr is the highest example of fortitude. Justice gives what is owed to God (the obedience of religion) and thus we are empowered to give what we owe to our neighbor. Prudence allows us to distinguish good from evil and not be taken in by the deceit of the Evil One, the Father of Lies.