Life in Christ
of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit
forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the
Church lists twelve of them: “charity, joy, peace, patience, kind-
ness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-
Virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do good.
The human virtues are stable dispositions of the intel-
lect and the will that govern our acts, order our pas
sions, and guide our conduct in accordance with
reason and faith. They can be grouped around the
four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and
Prudence disposes the practical reason to discern, in
every circumstance, our true good and to choose the
right means for achieving it.
Justice consists in the firm and constant will to give
God and neighbor their due.
Fortitude ensures firmness in difficulties and con-
stancy in the pursuit of the good.
Temperance moderates the attraction of the pleasures
of the senses and provides balance in the use of creat-
The moral virtues grow through education, deliber-
ate acts, and perseverance in struggle. Divine grace
purifies and elevates them.
The theological virtues dispose Christians to live in a
relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have God for
their origin, their motive, and their object—God
known by faith, God hoped in and loved for his own
There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and
charity. They inform all the moral virtues and give life