The Personalist Project

Accessed on September 26, 2023 - 6:17:00

“Passive” virtues eminently social

Katie van Schaijik, Dec 06, 2011

Searching for personalist gems to add to our quotation rotation, I've been looking through my copy of Raissa Maritain's Journal. This entry (written in 1918) struck a chord, particularly in terms of the person's essential orientation toward others:

21st April, — To Jacques: "Yesterday I had a good morning.  Once again when I recollect myself, I again find the same simple demands of God: gentleness, humility, charity, interior simplicity; nothing else is asked of me.  And suddenly I saw clearly why these virtues are demanded, because through them the soul becomes habitable for God and for one's neighbour in an intimate and permanent way.  They make a pleasant cell of it.  Hardness and pride repel, complexity disquiets.  But humility and gentleness welcome, and simplicity reassures.  These 'passive' virtues have an eminently social character."