The Meaning of Goodness
Goodness is not a negative but an intensely positive thing. It is energetic, active, strong. The very word virtue implies effort. Effort of the most constant and strenuous kind. There are no such things as negative virtues. The powers of our mind and body were not given us that we might simply keep them from mischief and hold them in check so that they should not harm ourselves or others. They were given us for action. The tongue to speak, the eye to look, the hand to work, the heart to love, the mind to think, the will to choose.
Everything about us speaks of an output of power. Life is to flow forth through mind and body. The body is the machinery through which the inner force is to express itself. The most mortified life is not a passive life. It is rather one in which the whole nature has been brought under the control of the will, and the will under obedience to God. It is the life of one who has died to sin that he might live to righteousness. It is the Resurrection life, a life in which all our powers are used for the very highest purposes.
From Principles and Practices
Compiled by Rev. J. Hogan of The Catholic Missionary Society
Published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers To The Holy See
Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.
First printed in 1930