Friday, 11 October 2013




..from the latin temperare or to mix in proportionate equity...Temperance as a virtue gives one the means by which one may regulate their natural appetite for sensible pleasure according to proper reason....

..without temperance one falls prey to impetuosity, inordinate zeal, and finally one becomes bold with God and falls into all sorts of errors of reason...such a person claims to know God’s will believes they are saved through irresistible grace or readily adopts unseemly habits such as spiritual gluttony or presumption....

...temperance informs the will as to how moderately one should cleave to the object of the desire of the appetite.... and so temperance helps control the amount of pleasure or delight the human heart may be attracted to...temperance also reigns concupiscence which owing to the first sin of Adam we are prone to out of habit as a frailty of our fallen nature....

..without temperance one cannot practice holy fear it says in scripture..

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding to all that do it: his praise continueth for ever and ever.

                                       -Psalm 110:10 Douay Rheims

...without Holy fear one cannot practice chastity of the senses or modesty of the short one becomes bold with God through presumption and feels they are duly appointed to be the objective judge of right and wrong by their own subjective reasoning..such a one will eventually come to dissidence with the established doctrines and the traditions of the magisterium....

As John of the cross says about lack of Holy Fear...

"... the devil causes many to believe in vain visions and false prophecies; and strives to make them presume that God and the saints are speaking with them; and they often trust their own fancy. And the devil is also accustomed, in this state, to fill them with presumption and pride, so that they become attracted by vanity and arrogance, and allow themselves to be seen engaging in outward acts which appear holy, such as raptures and other manifestations. Thus they become bold with God, and lose holy fear, which is the key
and custodian of all the virtues; and in some of these souls so many are the falsehoods and deceits which tend to multiply, and so inveterate do they grow, that it is very doubtful if such souls will return to the pure road of virtue and true spirituality."


..and so this is why it is said that of the four cardinal virtues  Holy Temperance ensconces one to acts of humility and moves one to trust in God’s ministers...of course Temperance also guards one against pride and affords the proper action of reason in all it was often said by a wise spiritual advisor..we are called to follow the divine master himself (Jesus) to be aimiable and just in all our dealings and to seek moderation and balance in life...John the Baptist with his animal hides and wild honey demeanour as a harbinger of Christ is a good model for those who choose a life of heroic virtue however as workers in the vineyard of the active life using the model of Christ as a balanced courteous shepherd to all is a more prudent guide to spiritual health.... let us see what the wise spiritual saints have to say about the virtue of Temperance.....

From: The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage:

By inward and ghostly temperance and sobriety a man preserves firmness and constancy of faith, purity of intelligence, that tranquillity of reason necessary to the comprehension of truth, an impulse towards all virtues according to the will of God, peace of heart, and serenity of conscience. And herewith he possesses an enduring peace, in God and in himself.........

.........From this zeal there spring temperance and sobriety, both inward and outward; for none can possess the right measure of sobriety save him who is greatly zealous and diligent to keep his soul and body in righteousness. Sobriety divides the higher powers from the animal powers; it saves a man from intemperance and from excess. Sobriety wishes neither to taste, nor to know, those things which are forbidden


-Jan Van Ruysbroeck

"Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven."

-- St. Ephraim the Syrian


Abba Pambo asked Abba Anthony, 'What ought I to

do?' and the old man said to him 'Do not trust in your own

righteousness do not worry about the past, but control your tongue and your stomach...

-St. Anthony of the desert

...the little bit of wood that is used to prod the vine
branches when they are burning is consumed utterly in likeness by being entirely burnt up by the fire; in the same way, man purifies his soul in the fear of God, and the fear of God controls the appetites and burns up his body..leaving the spirit clean..

-Abba Macarius the Egyptian

…Temperance also has a corresponding gift, namely, fear, whereby man is withheld from the pleasures of the flesh, according to Psalm 118:120: "Pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear." The gift of fear has for its principal object God, Whom it avoids offending, and in this respect it corresponds to the virtue of hope, as stated above (19, 09, ad 1). But it may have for its secondary object whatever a man shuns in order to avoid offending God. Now man stands in the greatest need of the fear of God in order to shun those things which are most seductive, and these are the matter of temperance: wherefore the gift of fear corresponds to temperance also…..

-Thoma Aquinas-Summa Theologica(Question 141. Temperance, Article 1. Whether Temperance is a virtue, reply to objection 3)