What is today’s formula for happiness? In a word, MORE. Happiness is to have it all, experience it all—and to the nth degree. This sounds nothing like the virtue of temperance. The irony is that when we practice temperance we end up with more. And this more actually satisfies. It’s the Christian paradox! Listen as Richaél Lucero reveals how this is possible.
how to become more like Christ by cultivating the seven virtues in your life with the help of the Holy Spirit.
The virtue of temperance
Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: “Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart.” Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: “Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites.” In the New Testament it is called “moderation” or “sobriety.” We ought “to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world.”Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1809
The reason temperance exists in the world
Many people are intemperate because they are miserable and suffering. Their life is a big long misery, so they decide to brighten it up with mountains of potato chips. They’re addicted to potato chips or sweets or even beer. Look at your own intemperance and see if unhappiness is causing it.Fr. Benedict Groshcel, The Virtue Driven Life
A remedy to get back to temperance
Slow down. Smell the flowers as you go by, and then you won’t need too much of this world’s goods. Enjoy your work and you won’t need too much time off. Enjoy being at home and you won’t have to go away so much.Fr. Benedict Groshcel, The Virtue Driven Life
Gift of the Holy Spirit that helps with temperance: Fear of the Lord
- This isn’t fear of punishment. It’s a healthy fear. A fear of offending the God you love. Or being separated from him. We use temperance because out of love we want to please God. And providing room in our hearts and lives for him to work and give us graces.
Daughter virtues of temperance: The virtues that are related to temperance and sit nestled beneath her wings.
- Honesty / Truthfulness
C.S. Lewis quotes about temperance sent from David at Pints with Jack podcast:
[God is] a hedonist at heart. All those fasts and vigils and stakes and crosses are only a façade. Or only like foam on the seashore. Out at sea, out in His sea, there is pleasure, and more pleasure. He makes no secret of it… He has a bourgeois mind. He has filled His world full of pleasures.C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses
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