The virtues of the Catholic Church are basically the theology the entire faith is built upon. Teaching children about the virtues of the Catholic Church is a valuable theological activity that can help educate any child whether they are Catholic or not. It is a good idea to teach each of these virtues separately so that the children have an easier time focusing on one type of virtue at a time.
The theological virtues of the Catholic Church are faith, hope and charity. Teach children about these by talking about how the three virtues affect the students' habits and personalities. Make an activity in which the children “rate” these virtues from one to three, one being the highest priority and three being the lowest for the children. The students can then discuss with one another why they put the virtues in that particular order.
The four cardinal virtues are prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude. These virtues should be taught with an explanation of what each one is. Give the children a brief synopsis of each virtue and have them write down some examples of each one of them. Because these virtues are said to govern the actions of an individual, you can discuss how prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude affect how the students act in certain situations.
The seven capital virtues are humility, liberality, brotherly love, meekness, chastity, temperance and diligence. These virtues are directly opposed to the seven deadly sins: pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony and sloth. Teach these virtues by placing them side by side with their opposing sin. This helps the children better understand what the virtue is by showing them what results in lack of that particular virtue. It also helps the children better understand what the Catholic faith requires of its members.
The intellectual virtues are understanding, knowledge or science, wisdom, art and prudence. These virtues dictate what is expected of the members of the catholic faith in respect to education and knowledge. Intellectual virtues are often considered “secondary” because they have little to do with morality or spirituality; however, these virtues can be taught to children by giving the children hypothetical word problems and having the students tell you what they would do in those situations. These situations can test the child’s wisdom, understanding and prudence as well as inspire artistic pursuits and a desire for further knowledge.
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