Cardinal and Theological Virtues

Cardinal Virtues

Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude - four virtues or habits that we develop to govern our actions, order our feelings, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith.


a virtue given to us by God that helps us love him above all things and our neighbor as ourselves. The power that enables us to love God.


a gift of God that helps us to believe in him. It is a personal adherence of the whole person to God, who has revealed himself to us through words and actions throughout history. The power to trust God completely and to accept as true all that God has rev


the strength to choose to do the right thing even when that is difficult. The power that gives us courage to do what is right even when it is very difficult.


the confidence that God will always be with us, make us happy now and forever, and help us to live so that we will be with him forever. The power to trust that God will give us eternal life and all the help necessary along the way


The power to respect the rights of others and give them their due.


the power that directs us toward good and helps us to choose the correct means to achieve that good. The power to decide what is good and choose accordingly.


the power that helps us to control our attraction to pleasure so that our natural desires are kept within proper limits.

Theological virtues

Faith, Hope and Charity -- those virtues infused in us by God and not by human effort. Powers given at Baptism that helps us direct our lives toward God.


An inclination to the performance of an act, and an ease in acting gained by practice.

Ways to advance in virtue

Frequent participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, prayer, reading lives of saints.


..the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.