Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man’s own will. (Saint Thomas Aquinas)

What does it mean to be ‘virtuous’? There is virtue-signaling, with its pejorative sense, even though one might interpret it in a good way, with Christ’s exhortation to ‘let your light shine before men, and hide it not under a bushel basket’. Yet, in the Gospel on the day I write this, He also warns us to keep our virtue hidden, not allowing our left hand to know what our right is doing when giving alms, and praying and fasting in secret. Catholicism is filled with such (apparent) paradoxes, all of which lead to a deeper synthesis. For there is a time to be bold, and a time for discernment; a time to proclaim, and a time to hide. 

The only way this paradox may be resolved is if we are truly virtuous and doing the ‘good’ that is based in that truth. Virtue signaling, the simulacrum of virtue, could be taken in the sense of showing forth our true virtue, when it should be hidden (boasting). In a more sinister way, it is showing a virtue that we do not have (hypocrisy). And in an even worse way, it is acting out a virtue that is not a virtue, and that we don’t even believe is a virtue, and may in reality a vice. Politicians who hobnob maskless and without social distancing, who scramble to don their face covering and stand apart for the cameras – yet not quite quickly enough. Or other ‘elites’ who make a big show defending the rights of women, then are caught in compromising positions with the same women, or even girls, using them to satiate their diminishing libidos. Or those who defend gender equality, yet vote down laws prohibiting gender-selective abortion. It gets worse, but we will leave it there, for now. What dead men’s bones lie behind our pro-abortion politicians may have to wait for the dies irae. And we should always remember, but for the grace of God…

Praise the Lord

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