Book Access - "An Overview of the Virtues" Ch. 3 of "Virtue Stands in the Middle" by Dr. Christopher Gustafson STD
On Overview of the Virtues - Ch. 3Dr. Christopher Gustafson, STD is a Catholic theologian in the United States. GPQ did an interview with him in January of 2022 on his upcoming book, Virtue Stands in the Middle, which you can access here. He has graciously offered to share parts of his upcoming book on virtue. The work not only delves in Catholic tradition and teaching on virtue and vice, but offers access to many images of the symbolism and iconographic tradition of the Seven Lady Virtues. Below is access to chapter three.
"Gemma Galgani became truly godlike through her pursuit and growth in the virtues. One can even see it in her face. She was born in Camigliano, Italy in 1878. She was the fifth of eight children. Her father was a pharmacist. Soon after her birth, her family moved to Lucca in the region of Tuscany, Italy. She was sent to a local Catholic boarding school and proved to be an intelligent child. Even at that age, she began to exercise extraordinary virtues. Her biographer describes her behavior: 'She never lost her temper, never argued; and when others contended with her or even abused her, her way of answering was with an amiable glance, followed by a smile so sweet that not rarely her adversary was forced to throw her arms around her neck, and hug her affectionately.' 1
Not only did she put forth tremendous personal effort in pursuing the virtues, but God allowed her Guardian Angel to appear to her and instruct her in the virtues. In this manner, her virtues took on colossal dimensions. Sometimes, these instructions in virtue seemed rather strict. Here is one angelic instruction on humility, obedience and modesty tailor-made for Gemma’s situation: 'Remember, child, that one who truly loves Jesus speaks little and endures much. I command thee on the part of Jesus, never to give thy opinion unless it is asked; never to maintain thy opinion, but be silent at once. When thou hast committed any fault, accuse thyself of it at once without waiting for others to do so. Punctual obedience, without reply to thy confessor, and to others when he enjoins it; also, sincerity with him and with them. Remember to guard thine eyes and reflect that the mortified eye shall behold the beauties of heaven.' 2 The real story in St. Gemma’s life was her intense battle ..."