Of vice and men

What is a vice? It is the darkening of some supreme good, one of those facets of the jewel we can rightly call a “good life”: love, faith, hope, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, benevolence, truth, and self-control. I must make note that, based on my previous proposition, that I disagree with Aristotle’s thought that virtue is the mean between two vices, one of excess and one of deficiency, of a particular characteristic. Is it possible to love too much? Can we have too much joy? Will we ever tire of perfect peace? No, I don’t think so.

Vice is the shadow of a virtue. There is good to be found in these shadows. Shadows only exist where there is light, yet light can exist without shadow. Evil without good? Never. Good without evil? One day. The very being of these shades guarantees the existence of the virtue they mock.

Even how we come to define them is a reflection of this. Each vice is the emptiness of a virtue, a corruption of it. Despair is hopelessness. Yet, hope is more than a lack of despair. War is a lack of peace. Peace is more than a lack of war. Hate is the absence of love; love being so much more than an absence of hate.

Are you surrounded by vices? Take heart for they show you hope, truth. If you find yourself in sorrow, it means you have known joy; discontent, contentedness; cruelty, kindness. Seek God and all these virtues rest within you, needing only to be called upon when the shadows are before your eyes, blocking your view of the light.


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