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Postby Lioba » 26 May 2008, 11:03

Temperance deals with our basic needs and desires.
Their are the instincts as hunger, thirst, sexuality, aggression.
Their are the emotions and the thinking, that is interested in knowing and understanding the world.
Both thomas and Pieper remind us, that all this aspects of human life exist from the very beginning itself, when God says-Everything is good.
So all these things are meant to be good too.
Any Spirituality, that condemns them principally, is not originally Christian, but is to be seen as heretic. But after paradise those gifts were perverted or brought into disorder. Temperance is focussed on the good order of our desires and attitudes.
We can fail in two ways-
1.having no good measure and/or becoming overwhelmed in concrete situations without giving up the principal value of a well orderd life and -as chtistians- the primacy of god in our lives.
2. totally denying the demands of temperance by willingly and constantly putting our greed over the love of God and the Good.

The first can happens to most of us, it will be forgiven, when we repent and we can learn to do better step by step, until we become more and more free from our impulsivness. On this way we learn to enjoy the freedom of ruling our needs instead of being driven by them.
So we can be really ourselves, the person that we are meant to be.
Iustitia est ad alterum.
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Postby Lioba » 26 May 2008, 11:09

the second way of missing temperance is much more serious-here not human weekness is the point, but the problem lies in a selfishness, that makes the ego to an idol-when a person is not seriously changing it´s mind it might loose everything.
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Postby Lioba » 03 Jun 2008, 09:28

:smile:
Okay, my little thougts about the classical virtues-as far as I could explain them in English. Sure their is a lot more to say about it- but My intention was just to give a few impressions .Are their points, someone wishes to add or discuss?
Otherwise here I will end my hardest English lesson and say thanks to everyone who helped me with thoughts, suggestions, links and translation.
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Postby Ben2747 » 03 Jun 2008, 13:44

Lioba wrote::smile:
Okay, my little thougts about the classical virtues-as far as I could explain them in English. Sure their is a lot more to say about it- but My intention was just to give a few impressions .Are their points, someone wishes to add or discuss?
Otherwise here I will end my hardest English lesson and say thanks to everyone who helped me with thoughts, suggestions, links and translation.


Lioba - sorry I haven't been more responsive. We just had a baby, and life is chaotic right now! In any case, thanks for the review - you want to make me crack open the Pieper, again! So one last question for you - what do you think the study of ethics, and the cardinal virtues, adds to the pursuit of righteousness for a Christian? Is it redundant? Just the same thing but a different perspective? Does it supplement what you had already known from Scripture? Or would you agree, with Luther, that you have just been gratifying the harlot, reason?
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Postby Lioba » 03 Jun 2008, 20:17

:grin:
Congretulations, Ben. I will light a candle for your family as soon as I come to town.
What all the reading gave to me- it cleared the real meaning of the words and it helps me to go on in my personal development.Reason is for me at any rate a tool and sometimes a friend, that helps me to reach my goal.
A harlot is in the end a woman, that hasn´t found the right place in life.
Maybe sometimes because she was to proud or lazy to live a simple life, but very often because she was rejected or misused.
Atz any rate this was my hardest English-lesson )I ever had.
If I could have written in German, I could have said a lot more, but be writing in English I always had to think- what is essentiell, how can I express it in the few simple words I have - that helped me to be concentrated.
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Postby Ben2747 » 03 Jun 2008, 20:51

Lioba wrote::grin:
Congretulations, Ben. I will light a candle for your family as soon as I come to town.
What all the reading gave to me- it cleared the real meaning of the words and it helps me to go on in my personal development.Reason is for me at any rate a tool and sometimes a friend, that helps me to reach my goal.
A harlot is in the end a woman, that hasn´t found the right place in life.
Maybe sometimes because she was to proud or lazy to live a simple life, but very often because she was rejected or misused.
Atz any rate this was my hardest English-lesson )I ever had.
If I could have written in German, I could have said a lot more, but be writing in English I always had to think- what is essentiell, how can I express it in the few simple words I have - that helped me to be concentrated.


I wasn't trying to criticize harlots (I'm Catholic, after all) - but Luther. Or rather, using his distrust of the rational faculty as a "devil's advocate" position. The question is whether it's good, useful, or even "safe" to consider natural moral philosophy without regard to the present Christian and Scriptural context - to cast yourself back and consider human action and excellence using only natural arguments. Some people might argue that you are either wasting your time, or playing with fire.

Your English was fine - and it probably keeps you (and the rest of us) honest, using smaller words. I had a philosophy professor who always said "beware of anyone who uses a lot of words with more than four syllables - they probably don't know what they're talking about." Unfortunately, that takes out most of the German language.
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Postby Lioba » 05 Jun 2008, 07:50

Ben: I saw the word harlot in the same symbolic way as you.Every gift of God misused ore neglected becomes a problem.
Reason for example set as Absolute is no more reason- remember the story of the french revolution. some people sat a naked woman on an church- altar and declared her Goddess of Reason.
Very reasonable to kill a stupid king for getting a bloodthirsty emperor.
OkayGermany wasn´t even worse changing an unable emperor for a crazy dictator.
I can see no problem in natural philosophy- the problem is, that some just start with the attitude to show, their is no God.True philosopy like true science must start without any thing fixed.
I am afraid, it was not only Luther who made problems- and partly I understand him- not every scholastic was a Thomas. Their were - and always are deep spiritual and practical needs in the life of the people and you can´t answer them all with elusive reflections.
I think, his problems were with the difficult aspects of scholasticisme- everything was cleared trough discussions and the one who´s arguments sounded best, had the best chances to win.
It´s a bit like politics- someone sounds good, but deep in your heart you feel, their is something foul.
Their is wisdom and knowledge, that go beyond reason and they sometimes are silenced not by true reason , but by eloquent intelectualisme.
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Postby Lioba » 05 Jun 2008, 07:50

Hmm. anyone intersted ion discussing the christian virtues-not me this time , would like to sit back, relax and read. :toothy-grin:
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Postby Lioba » 19 Jun 2008, 08:06

Another question-
What is friendship. I mean what is it really- what makes my a real friend to another person?
Any ideas, thougts- good links and quotes?
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Postby Ben2747 » 19 Jun 2008, 12:14

Lioba wrote:Another question-
What is friendship. I mean what is it really- what makes my a real friend to another person?
Any ideas, thougts- good links and quotes?


Thought you might enjoy this (although it might be easier if you found it in German) - it's Cicero's letter on friendship.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/cicero-laelius-melmoth.html
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Postby Lioba » 20 Jun 2008, 08:44

Found it in German-but it is still good to get proposals in English, than i know what I have to search for in German. And reading in English gives me practise.
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Postby loren » 20 Jun 2008, 21:55

Lioba wrote:Another question-
What is friendship. I mean what is it really- what makes my a real friend to another person?
Any ideas, thougts- good links and quotes?


Lioba,

If you haven’t already read, Antoine de Saint Exupéry, translated into English as The Little Prince, I would encourage you to do so. In it, the little prince very much asks the same question of the fox, his reply is somewhat like this: "Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." Chapter XXI

Take care, Loren
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Postby Lioba » 21 Jun 2008, 15:11

:smile:
Loren:
I´ll take care of my friendships- real friendship is rare.
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Postby cyranorox » 01 Jul 2008, 15:26

On friendship, Aelred of Clairvaux has a good book, On Spiritual Friendship. Montaigne's Apology is an extended secular essay on friendship that reaches quite high.

On virtue generally, I recommend Athanasius' On the Incarnation, which grounds all ethics in the overwhelming chivalry of Christ. [but i tend to recommend this book for a lot of different questions]

Dante has a great deal to say; his tribute to Arnaut Daniel is brief, but deep, and his long converation with Virgil throughout the first two books illustrates friendship along with the virtues. Virgil posesses all the pagan virtues and his character is drawn to show and comment on them, in addition to the explicit discussions in the story.

Ben,
that maxim "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." His response is that this is exactly the LAST thing with which it could be paved. Good intentions might have unforseen bad consequences, but if the act is in accord with the intention, hell is not where it leads. I suppose, since St. Francis deSales said, quoting St. Bernard of Clairveaux, "l'enfer est plein de bonnes voluntes ou desirs," this must mean that there is a failure to act according to the intention - but it is not because the intention was good that they ended up there.
,
this is because the good intentions are dropped and trodden upon, thus paving the road.
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Postby Lioba » 07 Jul 2008, 11:32

Cyranox- so I can plan a new reading schedule for autumn- summer is a very busy time, the children having holidays, which means having their friends as guests rather often and a lot to do in the garden- What I like is the idea of the connection between virtue and friendship. What´s sometimes a bit hard is the prejudice of mot of those authors that women aren´t fit for both- but then i can comfort myself with the thougt, that Jesus has a different point of view.
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