Theological virtues

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Peter Kreeft:
1. What can I know?
2. What should I do?
3. What may I hope?
The three questions correspond to the three "theological virtues" of faith, hope, and charity. Faith in God's word is the Christian answer to "What can I know?" Love of God and neighbor is the Christian answer to "What should I do?" And hope for Gods' Kingdom, the Kingdom of heaven, is the Christian answer to "What may I hope?" Just as faith fulfills the mind's deepest quest for truth and as love fulfills the moral will's deepest quest for goodness, so the hope of heaven fulfills the heart's deepest quest for joy.[1]

Scripture

1 Cor 13:1-13

1 If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.

2 And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.

3 If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated,

5 it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,

6 it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.

9 For we know partially and we prophesy partially,

10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

11 When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.

12 At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.

13 So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


Faith

Hope

Love

Love is an appetite, a hunger and a thirst.

Love is an emotion that carries us away.

Love is a law from the God who is Love.

Love is a power acquired by practice. "Love and hate are muscles. The power to love or to hate grows with use" (John Sack, RIP).

Love is its own reward. When we love, we become lovely.

Love is the gateway to joy. It is the narrow gate. There is no room for self in the Kingdom of Love.

Unlike splitting up a pie, the more we share the fruits of the Spirit, the more we have to share. The one who gives benefits as much as the one who receives. The fruits are true soul food: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

The Four Loves

C. S. Lewis
Storge affection
Philia friendship
Eros romance
Agape selfless love

References

  1. "Of All the Questions the Human Mind Can Ask, Three Are of Ultimate Importance."

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