A virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It opposes the evil of vice. Virtue allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions (See Corporal Works of Mercy and Spiritual Works of Mercy). The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God ("be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect" - Matthew 5:48). [CCC #1803]. Our Christian duty is to pursue virtue and avoid vice.
Those virtues which adapt man's faculties for participation in the divine nature: [Cf. 2 Peter 1:4] for the theological virtues relate directly to God. They dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have the One and Triune God for their origin, motive, and object. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life.
|Faith||Firm belief in God and in all that He has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because He is Truth itself.|
|Hope||Desire for the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.|
|Charity||Love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. Jesus makes charity the new commandment.|
Those virtues which make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. Cardinal virtues, which are rooted in the theological virtues, are acquired by education, by deliberate acts and by a perseverance ever-renewed in repeated efforts. They are purified and elevated by divine grace.
|Prudence||Disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it. Prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid.|
|Justice||Constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor.|
|Fortitude||Firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good.|
|Temperance||Moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods.|