For Catholics

The statement on this website that a Cardinal Virtues test is not a test of sanctity is accurate but requires further elaboration.

To begin with, the fact that Freemasons encourage their members to cultivate the cardinal virtues demonstrates that these virtues alone do not measure sanctity.

The Catholic Church has prohibited its members from joining Masonic organizations and other secret societies since 1738. Since then, at least eleven popes have affirmed the incompatibility of Catholic doctrine with Freemasonry.

Aristotle, a significant advocate of the cardinal virtues, was not Jewish, nor was he Christian as he lived before Christ.

So, what does a high score on a test based on the cardinal virtues signify? It indicates a natural goodness in the individual, which is indeed commendable.

But how do the cardinal virtues benefit Catholics?

The answer lies in the concept of grace.

All human beings can receive actual grace, a supernatural push or encouragement from God that helps them perform good actions or avoid evil ones.

It assists our conscience and particularly helps us avoid mortal sin, thereby aiding us in reaching a state of grace—a condition where one is free from mortal sin and may start growing in friendship with God.

Freemasons, however, cannot attain this state of grace because their beliefs are incompatible with friendship with God. Also to be in full friendship with God, one must also have a correct understanding of God.

Additionally, there is sanctifying grace, which is accompanied by the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love. When we receive sanctifying grace, the path to sanctity opens up wide.

The cardinal virtues—Prudence, Justice, Courage, and Temperance—are classified as moral virtues; while Faith, Hope, and Love are theological virtues.

There is a key distinction between the two classes of virtues. We develop moral virtues through practice: making better judgments, acting more justly, showing more courage, and practicing more temperance.

In contrast, we attain theological virtues not by practice but with sanctifying grace. We are encouraged to increase acts of devotion, prayer, and the reception of the sacraments.

I am not a priest. I cannot offer the sacraments. I do not wish to be a spiritual director either. I believe that the fact that there is no universally accepted theory of personality in the field of psychology is portentous. I believe that the Cardinal Virtues, as they were used for millennia, constitute de facto such a theory. And I have resolved to help clients in applying in their lives and professional circumstances this theory for their greatest profit as it can be the most effective and concise coaching plan.