Seven Virtues



[Floral Graphics by Alisa Foytik | Image by jessINK]

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This is a quick overview of the “seven virtues” I’ll be including at the start of my upcoming Self anthology (links to interview and product page on jessINK).

I’ll order a print proof to edit and proofread. The book should be out on the market in July (eBook + print).

I’ve included some images here to spruce up the blog post a little bit — enjoy ;)!

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[Seven Heavenly Virtues: Quick Overview]

A list of virtues was proposed by a Christian governor named Aurelius Prudentius who died around 410 AD, in his poem “Psychomachia” or “Battle/Contest of the Soul.”

This poem proposed seven virtues to directly counteract the seven deadly sins. The virtues are chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility.

Practicing these virtues is considered to protect one against temptation from the seven deadly sins.

1. Chastity (opposes Lust)


Keywords: Purity, knowledge, honesty, wisdom.

Meaning: Abstaining from sexual conduct according to one’s state in life; the practice of courtly love and romantic friendship. To be honest with oneself, embrace moral wholesomeness and achieve purity of thought through education and betterment. The ability to refrain from being distracted and influenced by hostility, temptation or corruption.

2. Temperance (opposes Gluttony)


Keywords: Self control, justice, honor, abstention.

Meaning: Restraint, temperance, justice. Practicing self-control, moderation, and deferred gratification. Proper moderation between self-interest, versus the rights and needs of others. Temperance is generally defined by “control over excess.”

3. Diligence (opposes Sloth)


Keywords: Persistence, effort, ethics, rectitude.

Meaning: A zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work; decisive work ethic, steadfastness in belief, fortitude, and the capability of not giving up. Monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness. Upholding one’s convictions at all times, especially when no one else is watching.

4. Kindness (opposes Envy)


Keywords: Satisfaction, loyalty, compassion, integrity.

Meaning: Charity, compassion and friendship for its own sake. Empathy and trust without prejudice or resentment. Unselfish love and voluntary kindness without bias or spite. Having positive outlooks and cheerful demeanor; to inspire kindness in others.

5. Charity (opposes Greed)


Keywords: Will, benevolence, generosity, sacrifice.

Meaning: Generosity, charity, self-sacrifice. Love, in the sense of an unlimited loving kindness towards all others, is held to be the ultimate perfection of the human spirit, because it is said to both glorify and reflect the nature of God. Such unconditional love is self-sacrificial and necessary for salvation — with it no one can be lost.

6. Patience (opposes Anger)


Keywords: Peace, mercy, ahimsa (avoidance of violence), sufferance.

Meaning: Forbearance and endurance through moderation. Resolving conflicts and injustice peacefully, as opposed to resorting to violence. Accepting the grace to forgive; to show mercy to sinners. Creating a sense of peaceful stability and community rather than suffering, hostility, and antagonism.

7. Humility (opposes Pride)


Keywords: Bravery, modesty, reverence, altruism.

Meaning: Modest behavior, selflessness, and the giving of respect. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. The courage of the heart necessary to undertake tasks which are difficult, tedious or unglamorous, and to graciously accept the sacrifices involved.


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1. Chastity | by Amy L. Riddle
2. Temperance | by porschelinn
3. Diligence | by Kevin N. Murphy
4. Kindness | by Pink Sherbet Photography
5. Charity | by John Morgan
6. Patience | by Pink Sherbet Photography
7. Humility | by Tree Leaf Clover

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From the foreword to Jess C Scott’s Self  anthology (a short story collection which links personal spiritual growth to each of the seven virtues | July 2012).


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