Virtues as Vices and Vice Versa

“… there are many vices that appear as virtues.  For example, greed disguises itself as frugality and wastefulness is thought to be generosity.  Often laziness is accounted kindness and wrath appears as spiritual zeal.  And excessive haste is confused with the efficiency of promptness, while tardiness is taken for serious deliberation.     It is necessary, therefore, that the director of souls carefully discern the difference between the virtues and vices so that, on the one hand, he does not allow greed to take hold of the heart of the [sinner] who appears frugal or, on the other hand, so that he does not allow another to boast of his generosity, when, in effect, he is simply being wasteful.”  (St. Gregory the Great, THE BOOK OF PASTORAL RULE, pp 76-77)

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