A significant disproportion
Before dealing with the individual cardinal virtues, I had the opportunity to address the subject of the deadly vices. It was clear to see the great interest in the themes, especially as found among the humanities, philosophy, art, literature and spirituality. Such a multiplicity of approaches is an indication of the richness and complexity of human actions. It is essential to understand the seriousness of their consequences, but above all the good sought in them, even if inadequately. Indeed, the variety of situations shown in each of them could be considered a true compendium of human actions.
However, at the end of that journey, the basic question remains: how to identify the good that is pursued in vain by those many, and in many ways fascinating, efforts? This was, in other words, a question about virtue, the ability to recognize and implement our own good, which can give taste and fullness to life.
If the theme of vice fascinates, unfortunately the same cannot be said for the contrasting theme of the cardinal virtues, the properly ethical virtues that make the one who practices them better. The most extensive treatment remains that of St. Thomas, who took up and integrated Aristotle’s analyses from a theological perspective. A number of valuable writings that have appeared over the past decades are also in fact a commentary on the text of Thomas. The number of Italian texts, other than the brief entries in dictionaries and encyclopedias, does not exceed the fingers of one hand. The reasons for this scarcity may be several. One, which is not unique to the present topic, is that the good does not make the news, and is difficult to sell, especially in advertising.