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FollowJesusFour moral virtues are so important that all the other virtues depend on them. They are called Cardinal Virtues. They are prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. Prudence helps us to decide what is good in a particular situationand then to choose the right way to accomplish what is good. Justice helps us to give what is due to God and to our neighbors. Fortitude helps us to resist temptations and overcome obstaclesto doing good. Temperance allows us to control our desire for pleasure so we can live well-balanced lives.All of these are called human virtues because we can develop these virtues through our own efforts.But what makes it possible for usto develop moral virtues are the Theological Virtues given to us by God. The Theological Virtues lead us to want to live the kind of lives that will bring us into a good relationship with God and lead us to eternal life.There are three Theological Virtues— faith, hope, and charity. Faith is the virtue by which we believe in God and in all he has revealed to us. Hope is the virtue by which we trust in Christ’s promises and the Holy Spirit’s help to gain eternal life and happiness in the Kingdom of God. Charity allows us to love God and our neighbors.4. What Is Sin?Sin is disobedience. It is any word, deed, or desire that breaks God’sLaw. A serious act of disobedience is called a mortal sin. Three things make a sin mortal. First, the sin concerns a serious matter. Second, the person recognizes how serious the sin is. Third, the person freely chooses to commit the sin anyway. An example is taking weeks to plan a murder, then carrying it out. Committing a mortal sin in effect is choosing eternal death. If the sinner does not repent, he or she cannot enter into eternal life with God.Venial sin is a lesser offense against God’s Law. While it is also wrong, it does not bring eternal punishment. That does not mean, however, that venial sins are not dangerous. Repeating the same venial sin over and over can puta person at risk of falling into mortal sin. For example, it is a venial sin for someone to want revenge when he or she has been hurt by another person. But thinking every day about ways of getting even can lead to planning an actual attack and even carrying outPhoto credit: P. Razzo/CIRIC31

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