Man's Vital Existence: Silence before God
Josef Pieper on Temperance
I have been very slowly working through the research for my new book, Re-Collecting Your Life. This last year was one of the hardest in my life, for reasons I can’t go into, especially this summer. As a result, my research and writing has taken a hit, which you probably realized given the paucity of posts from me in the last 6 months. I apologize. I plan to return to regular posting. I do appreciate your support and encouragement, and the practice of weekly writing is good for my soul and my craft.
I have been reading and rereading the great Aquinas scholar Josef Pieper’s books on the virtues, The Four Cardinal Virtues and Faith, Hope, Love. In the former volume, Pieper discusses the virtue of temperance and focuses on the vice of curiositas, a disordered and obsessive desire for knowledge otherwise known as “lust of the eyes.” Pieper describes this vice as a problem for modern people in particular, people who have “lost [their] capacity for living with [themselves]” (201). Although it was first published in 1966, Pieper’s description of curiositas resonates with the harried, vacuous, distracted contemporary age:
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