08 November 2008

Aquinas' View of the Christian Image of Man

St. Thomas gives us this summary of the Christian image of man through seven virtues. These seven virtues remind us that the ethics of classical theology is an ethics of the image of God in us, with explicit reference to Jesus' words on the perfection of the Christian: "Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) - Fr. Constantino Gilardi O.P

The Christian is a human creature who - in faith - becomes aware of the reality of God.

The Christian aims - in hope - for the conclusion of his existence in eternal life.

The Christian turns - in the theological virtue of charity - towards God and towards his neighbor in a manner that surpasses his natural capacity for love.

The Christian is prudent, that is, he does not permit the yes or no of his will to cloud his vision of reality, but makes the yes or no of his will depend on the truth of things.

The Christian is just, that is he aims to live in truth "with others;" he realizes that he is only one of the members of the Church, of the civil community, of every community.

The Christian is strong, that is ready to support difficulties or even wounds for justice to be achieved.

The Christian is temperate, and that it does not permit his wish to possess and enjoy to go against what he must really be.

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