battle of the virtues and vices
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10 Battle of the Virtues Quotes to Help You Fight Your Vices

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There is a battle of the virtues and vices that rages within a man, as he travel’s the pilgrim’s path. It is a battle that no man is immune to, no matter how virtuous he is.

Pope Saint Leo IX wrote a series of dialogues regarding the vices and their remedies, which was compiled in a book called, The Battle of the Virtues & Vices: Defending the Interior Castle of the Soul.

What are Vices and Virtues?

The term “virtue” comes from the Latin word virtus (strength). Vice comes from the Latin word vitium (weakness).

Vices are not sin, but they can lead to sin. For example, you might be someone who tends to fight vulgar jokes funny, but unless you make the vulgar jokes yourself or deliberately attend a function known for it’s vulgar jokes, then you are not necessarily singing.

Vices are tendencies that we can fight by renewing ourself daily and working on cultivating virtue.

These quotes from The Battle of the Virtues & Vices: Defending the Interior Castle of the Soul, takes a look at vices, but even more importantly, offers remedies to help you battle these vices.

10 quotes from the Battle of the Virtues and Vices to Help you in the Your Journey to Sainthood

  1. “Scandal, not only hurts those against whom it is directed but also imperils the morale and peace of all who come into contact with it.”   
  2. “Don’t make a display of your merits but keep them hidden away from human view as much as you are able.  And if you are not able to do this always (as is almost inevitably the case), at least try to do so and sincerely desire to do so.”
  3. “Since you already aspire to be regarded as holy, it must be plain to you already that holiness is an intrinsically good and desirable thing. So why settle for false holiness when you could very readily cultivate true holiness?
  4. “When you look at others and envy their high status, are you not doing exactly the same thing that Satan did when he envied God Himself?” 
  5. “O Soul, of course, one should never keep silence about crimes and works of evil, and one should never consent to or ignore, such things when they happen.  But it behooves us to correct our neighbors, when it is necessary, in a manner which is grounded in fraternal charity.  We certainly shouldn’t go about disparaging them behind their backs, as Detraction is accustomed to do! “

The Battle of the Virtues and Vices: Defending the Interior Castle of the Soul, by Pope Saint Leo IX

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battle of the virtues and vices

  1. “Ask yourself, O Soul, whatever it is that has stirred you to wrath … is it more important to you than admission to the eternal joys of the kingdom of heaven? I hope that it is not.”
  2. “O Soul, do not listen to the voice of pride! For he seeks to deceive you – to puff you up only so that he may laugh when you fall down.”
  3. You should realize, my friend, that the things of this world – money, treasures and property –   are seldom obtained without sin and struggle, and that they are retained and managed only with anxiety and tribulation.
  4. “One form of sorrow is beneficial and healthy and leads the soul to penitence, reformation, and improvement. But the other form is pernicious and harmful, for it leads not to repentance or improvement but rather only to the dreadful dead end of despair!”
  5. Carpe Diem, as the poet says. Seize the day!  Your opportunities for good work, for penitence, and for prayer are all strictly limited. So, you need to make the most of every single moment the good Lord grants you, for you have no idea of how many more you will be given.”

May these quotes on the cross strengthen you.

More Resources on Cultivating Virtue

Do You Need Help Fighting Gluttony? Check out These 6 Remedies

This article was originally posted in 2019 and updated in 2020.

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