Monday, June 4, 2012

Magnanimity

from the Catholic Encyclopedia - The magnanimous man is described (by Aristotle) as one who, being really worthy of great things, holds himself worthy of them. For he who holds himself thus worthy beyond his real deserts is a fool, and no man possessed of any virtue whatsoever can ever be a fool or show want of understanding. He, on the other hand who holds himself worthy of less than his merits is little-minded, no matter whether the merits which he thus underrates be great, or moderate, or small.
I thought magnanimity is great generosity. But...
St. Thomas accepts his (Aristotle's) teaching concerning this virtue, but, to prevent it becoming pride, he tempers it with the doctrine of Christian humility. Christian doctrine joins all that is true and noble in Aristotle's description of magnanimity with what revelation and experience alike teach us concerning human frailty and sinfulness. The result is the sweetness, the truth, and the strength of the highest Christian character.
and...
With incredible energy, constancy, and utter forgetfulness of self, he works wonders without apparent means. If honours are bestowed on him he knows how to accept them and refer them to God if it be for His service. Otherwise he despises them as he does riches, and prefers to be poor and despised with Him Who was meek and humble of heart.
Finally, Merriam-Webster...
the quality of being magnanimous : loftiness of spirit enabling one to bear trouble calmly, to disdain meanness and pettiness, and to display a noble generosity.
Something to think about.

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