What is temperance?
We explain what temperance and excesses to avoid in order to live with this virtue. Also, what is temperance according to religion.
What is temperance?
Temperance is a virtue that advises us to measure ourselves with pleasures and tries to ensure that our life has a balance between what being a good causes us some pleasure and the spiritual life, which gives us another kind of well-being, a superior one.
This virtue can be reached with dominion over our instincts and desires. Temperance is synonymous with the words moderation, sobriety and continence .
The term temperance comes from the Latin language, “temperantia”, which means the moderation of temperature, but in another sense the adjective tempered is applied to refer to the middle ground between hot and cold, and in the same way to everything that maintains some kind of balance or inner, spiritual harmony.
Hence also the adjective dismantled , as decomposed or deranged, without moderation or balance. On the other hand and against what is usually believed, the word has no etymological relationship with the word temple .
Having the virtue of temperance means that we will be sober, identifying what are the needs of our body and our being, but the really necessary ones, which are going to give us well-being and help us to develop as people (such as health or education ) .
On the other hand we must also identify imaginary needs, because these are simple products of our desire and ego, these second needs are inexhaustible. Therefore we must contain them with all our strength and learn to live only with what is necessary to have temperance , although this does not mean living in lack.
The human being has a natural tendency to abuse the joy that goods grant, it is also true that we have within us a small part that is rebellious and opposes the right action.
The so-called sensible realities are as important in the life of man as the subtle ones, but he must learn to differentiate the importance that each one has because the obsession of staying in the joy of the material distracts him, keeping him floating between illusions that contribute nothing good to his life and also away from true knowledge .
If the human being should work as his instincts dictate, he could never find his perfection of being, he could not achieve that for which he is destined.
It is also said that not acting with temperance is an act of selfishness , since one as a person cannot contribute good things to the world and to the society in which he lives by only spending time thinking about the material and his vices, nor can he appreciate the reality in order to act in this way according to it.
Some examples of the things that we should avoid in excess to live with temperance are:
- Meals (as we would sin of gluttony)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Sex too much, since these things cause situations in which the energies of being become disorderly and thus become destructive acts.
For example, drinking too much alcohol can damage our liver , having too many sexual partners can lead to contracting a sexually transmitted disease, and so on.
Temperance in religion
Sobriety is what opens the doors to a spiritual life, excesses poison the soul. From a religious point of view, temperance is a cardinal virtue and when it is perfected by the work and grace of the Holy Spirit.
Temperance is also what makes us stop our low instincts , overcome some of the capital sins of Catholicism. No good work will save us if we have no record, because our soul is blind because prudence has been corrupted.
The person who enjoys temperance will always direct his sensitive appetites towards good , knows how to act with discretion and does not allow himself to be influenced by the passion of his heart.
It is said that when someone works according to their spirituality they are being true to themselves . When the soul is delivered to the sensitive world, the ability to decide and act in the right way is annihilated later.
It is said that the human being who works in his life according to spiritual laws is in communion with God, thus assimilates the truth , which is the supreme good to which we must aspire, and finally performs all his acts properly. If we possess this virtue, we will live in a balanced way , avoiding all excesses, both good and bad.
Those who dedicate their lives to living it with all possible virtues and according to the commandments of the church are priests or nuns, who decide to follow the path of spiritual elevation above pleasures and property.