Temperance Keeps our Pride in Check
The Catholic Man Show
For those Consecrated through the Sacrament of Confirmation, we were told (or should have been told) that we would be imbued with supernatural gifts that would equip us for living out our lives as soldiers for Christ and the advancement of His Kingdom. Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, we also find that we are blessed with graces to carry out specific virtues. One does not need Confirmation to obtain graces for such virtues but why would you pass up an opportunity to armor yourself by virtue of the Church? Among those virtues, the virtue of Temperance is readily received to assist us in our journey to holiness. But what is Temperance and how does such a virtue aid me in becoming a saint?
When one thinks of the virtue of Temperance, one should also think of meekness. But before we can explain what meekness is, we must first explain what it is not. Meekness is not cowardice, not human respect, frailty, or timidness. Because meekness flows from the virtue of Temperance, it is a solidified grace for sanctification. A good example of meekness is the opposition to unruly anger or outbursts of wrath. A collected and disciplined individual sees the pitfall of unruly anger and wrath. This virtue is the sanctification of the will in the since that peace can be summoned at will even among tumultuous chaos. This virtue is the perfection of the best possible response one can have toward the world and its evil.
Now do not mistake Temperance for Tolerance because these two are diametrically different terms altogether! Temperance is a self-governing virtue that keeps one unstained by rash thinking or hasty decisions – a clear mind resting on the principles of Christ and His truth. This does not mean that we calmly accept evil because we are blessed with Temperance; quite the contrary, we who are journeying in this virtue see the evil but recognize that our own strength is not the solution and neither is an unbridled tongue. For cursing and swearing are to be put away from you for more than one reason. First of all, such talk binds you to your broken oaths of impurity. Speaking ill is a sign of no restraint and often means you have feet that swiftly move toward vices rather than virtues. Temperance is what checks our pride and keeps us in a fertile state of mind in thinking of how we may improve in the work of virtues. Pray therefore for such a grace to as to control your pagan nature lest you be found ruled over.