Meaning of Theological Virtues

What are the Theological Virtues:

In Christianity, the theological virtues are called the set of values ​​and attitudes that empower the human being to approach God and relate to him. The observance of the theological virtues encourages the practice of the cardinal virtuesso they complement each other.

This is based on the second letter of the apostle Peter: “With them [Dios] He has given us the greatest and most valuable promises, so that through them they may participate in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1, 4).

From the point of view of Christian theology, the theological virtues are inspired in the understanding of the human being by the Holy Spirit, which allows people to act as “children of God”.

The theological virtues were summarized by Saint Paul in the I letter to the Corinthians: “In a word, there are now three things: the faiththe hope and the charitybut the greatest of all is charity” (1 Corinthians 13, 13).

These would be some of the first theological formulations of the founding and animating character of the theological virtues in the Christian experience.

See also Cardinal Virtues.

Faith

Faith is believing in God and trusting in his revelation. This supposes, therefore, the necessary spiritual openness to be able to recognize the manifestation of God in daily life and in the community of believers, that is, in the Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines faith as “the theological virtue by which we believe in God and in all that He has told and revealed to us” (article 1814).

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As an act of trust in the revealed truth, faith encourages to act concretely according to the spiritual principles inspired by God and motivates to profess it openly, that is, to bear witness to it and spread it.

See also Faith.

Hope

Faith instills hope. Hope is the confident expectation in the fulfillment of a certain horizon that, in the case of Christian theology, refers to the fulfillment of the promises of Jesus: the kingdom of heaven and eternal life, based on which the Christian is spiritually driven.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church holds that hope “corresponds to the longing for happiness placed by God in the heart of every man” (article 1818).

Hope, animated by faith, allows the human being to commit to the necessary changes to build the kingdom of God, as well as to find meaning in work, the strength to face difficulties and the patience to wait.

See also Hope.

Charity

Charity (love) is the center of the Christian heart. Faith and hope are fully expressed in it and, therefore, it orders and articulates all the virtues.

Charity (love) is defined as the virtue that allows people to love God above all things and, in the name of this bond, to love their neighbor as themselves. Its fruits are joy, peace and mercy.

This corresponds to the fundamental commandment that Jesus communicates to his apostles: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another” (John 13:34).

For the apostle Saint Paul, charity is the most important of the theological virtues, as can be seen in the following verse: “Even if I distributed all my goods to feed the poor and gave my body to the flames, if I do not have love it is of no use to me” (1 Corinthians 13:3).

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See also:

  • Charity.
  • Mercy.