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Katie van Schaijik

“Passive” virtues eminently social

Dec. 6, 2011, at 7:11pm

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."

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