The theological virtues , including divine virtues , Christian virtues or infused virtues , are faith , love and hope . In contrast to the ten commandments , these three virtues are not specific rules for action, but attitudes or inner attitudes demanded by Christians. They are complemented by the four cardinal virtues adopted from ancient philosophy, wisdom , justice , bravery and temperance .
In contrast to the human virtues, the divine virtues are said to be “poured” by God into the soul of believers. The human virtues are rooted in the divine.
Virtue is part of spiritual growth:
“Therefore, make every effort to combine virtue with your faith, knowledge with virtue, self-control with knowledge, perseverance with self-control, piety with perseverance , brotherhood with piety and love with brotherhood . If all of this is present with you and grows, then it takes away your indolence and sterility, so that you know Jesus Christ, our Lord, ever more deeply. "
The traditional canon of the seven virtues goes back to Pope Gregory the Great (540-604), in which the three divine virtues faith (fides), love (caritas) and hope (spes) the ancient Platonic cardinal virtues prudentia , justice (iustitia) ) , Valor (fortitudo) and moderation (temperantia) .
Pope Benedict XVI wrote the encyclicals Deus caritas est and Spe salvi on the divine virtues love and hope . The encyclical Lumen fidei on faith, which began before he resigned from office, was completed by Pope Francis .
- Faith (fides): Symbolized by the cross or a chalice with a host .
- Love (caritas): Is represented in iconography by a heart or by a woman with children.
- Hope (spes): Is symbolized by an anchor, bird or branch.
According to tradition the noble Christian widow distributed Sophia the Martyr their possessions to the poor and traveled with her daughters faith, hope and charity , three consecrated virgins , from Milan to Rome , where they in the persecution of Christians under Hadrian the martyrdom suffered.
Ödön von Horváth deals with this topic in his piece Faith, Love, Hope - A Little Dance of Death in five pictures .
- Henry Bars: The Divine Virtues. Faith, hope, love . Pattloch, Aschaffenburg 1963.
- Walter Brugger : Philosophical Dictionary. 15th edition, Freiburg 1978, ISBN 3-451-20410-X , article virtue .
- Bruno Niederbacher : Faith as a virtue in Thomas Aquinas. Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-17-018530-6 .
- Josef Pieper : Love, hope, believe. Kösel, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-466-40168-2 .
- Reinhard Schwarz: Fides, spes and caritas with the young Luther, with special consideration of the medieval tradition (= work on church history . 34). de Gruyter, Berlin 1962, ISBN 3-11-001232-4 .
- Josef Pieper : Works. Vol. 7: Religious-philosophical writings. ed. by Berthold Wald . About the Christian image of man. Felix Meiner Verlag, Munich 2000, pp. 111–112, 411.
- Stefan Grotefeld, Matthias Neugebauer, Jean-Daniel Strub, Johannes Fischer (eds.): Source texts of theological ethics, From the old church to the present. W. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 2006, p. 81.
- Gotteslob, Catholic prayer and hymn book, ed. from the bishops of Germany and Austria and the dioceses of Bozen-Brixen and Lüttich, Catholic Bible Institute, Stuttgart 1974, no.33.