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Is the virtue of love in your character?

Love is the first of the theological virtues and occupies a place of prominence among the virtues. Many would claim that all the other virtues can be summed up in love, and Aquinas claimed that any other virtue is false unless it is motivated by love.

Love is committing ourselves to the good of people, projects, things and principles with the same intensity that we commit to our own welfare. It is the embodiment of the golden rule which is shared by many cultures. Love includes solidarity towards neighbours and enemies in need. It includes friendship and most other virtues, like loyalty, faithfulness, courage, justice and compassion. The definitive biblical text on love (1 Corinthians 13) describes it as including the virtues of patience, benevolence, loyalty, truthfulness, justice, faithfulness, hope and constancy. 

Love also includes benevolence, described as a deep satisfaction in what you have, leading to being happy for what others have and desiring that their conditions improve even further.  Benevolence, in turn is related to kindness, gentleness and altruism.  Truly, the virtue of love is the most excellent way.

Does this describe you? If so, well done, you are a loving person.

The opposing vices

The vices that oppose love include envy, jealousy, pride, malvolence, indifference, egoism, wrath and vengeance.  A spirit of competition, suspicion of other’s motives, harshness and cynicism are also vices opposing love.

Do any of these describe you?  If they do, and if your score in the Virtue Test was low in this virtue, then you may want to choose to work on the virtue of love in your character.



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