The Virtue of Marriage
Truly Authentic Sex & Rightly Ordered Love by Tracy Jamison
The classical understanding of virtue is remarkably absent from our modern world. We might consider the practical definition of virtue offered by St. Augustine in The City of God (Book XV, chapter 22), where he describes virtue as "the right order of love" and gives us some helpful examples. When people love to hoard money more than they love to use it for productive and worthwhile enterprises, we call them greedy, because their love of money is not rightly ordered. When they love physical beauty or strength more than spiritual beauty or strength, we call them vain, again because their love is disordered.
The same is true regarding every other kind of good we aspire to attain. Every good ought to be desired in proper balance and due proportion, neither too much nor too little, and with attention to the common good. As Augustine puts it, a good "is loved rightly whenever it is loved ordinately, and it is loved evilly whenever it is loved inordinately."
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