Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Tag Archive for ‘Virtue’

Religion and morality are indispensable supports

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men & citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious […]

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The Ladder of Divine Ascent: Is it still relevant to us?

Can the Ladder, a work written by a hermit monk who lived 1,400 years ago, say something to us today? Can the existential journey of a man who lived his entire life on Mount Sinai in such a distant time be relevant to us? At first glance it would seem that the answer must be […]

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A Virtuous Life Is Hard to Attain (And Harder to Keep)

One should not say that it is impossible to reach a virtuous life; but one should say that it is not easy. Nor do those who have reached it find it easy to maintain. Those who are devout and whose intellect enjoys the love of God participate in the life of virtue; the ordinary intellect, […]

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Distorted Desires: The Seven Deadly Sins

The seventeenth century poet Thomas Traherne is known for his joyful and positive spirit. He affirms that human souls are driven by desire, and that we desire what is good. The problem is, that desire is either distorted or directed wrongly by sin. Very often when we think about the seven deadly sins we view them […]

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What is interior peace, and what use is it?

A brother asked Abba Rufus, ‘What is interior peace, and what use is it?’ Th e old man said, ‘Interior peace means to remain sitting in one’s cell with fear and knowledge of God, holding far off the remembrance of wrongs suffered and pride of spirit. Such interior peace brings forth all the virtues, preserves […]

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St. Basil: Who is the greedy person?

The harshest form of covetousness is not even to give things perishable to those who need them. “But whom do I treat unjustly,” you say, “by keeping what is my own?” Tell me, what is your own? What did you bring into this life? From where did you receive it? It is as if someone […]

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On the raising of deluded narcissists

Dr. Keith Ablow, a frequent guest on Fox News, asserted just a few weeks ago that “we are raising a generation of deluded narcissist.” He cited an interesting study from the American Freshmen Survey which found that “college students are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even though their […]

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Little Motifications are the most important

Louis de Montfort points out that interior mortifications are more important than exterior ones, even though the latter are not to be disregarded. The conquest of selfishness, or self-will, is the greatest challenge. Even the good results of difficult practices of mortification may be spoiled by self-seeking. Hence he recommends that all exterior acts of […]

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The hard work of the spiritual life

Many people have romantic or idealistic notions about monastic life that are untrue. The image of the monk as a workman is a reminder that monastic life is not an idyllic exis­tence but rather something ordinary, obscure, and laborious. The same is true of the spiritual life in general. By taking the Gospel seriously, we […]

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Take a survey of your abilities, and consult God

It is the opinion of St. Gregory the Great that the world is to some persons so full of ambushes and snares, or dangerous occasions of sin, that they cannot be saved but by choosing a safe retreat. Yet there are some who find the greatest dangers in solitude itself; so that it is necessary […]

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