An Excess of Christian Charity? by David Carlin

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*Image: Hannibal in Italy by Jacopo Ripanda, c. 1510 [Hall of Hannibal, Capitoline Museum, Rome]

By David Carlin, The Catholic Thing, Aug. 6, 2021

David Carlin is a retired professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

David CarlinAristotle, as everybody knows, held that virtue is a mean between the extremes of “too much” and “too little.” If he had been given to the use of colorful language, he would have called it the “golden mean.” This is typical of classical Greece at its best, a civilization that valued moderation in all things.

As everybody also knows, Thomas Aquinas was a great fan of Aristotle. Rarely has any disciple been more devoted to his master than was Thomas to Aristotle. Yet Thomas was more devoted still to Christ. So when the question arose whether one should be moderate in the virtue of love of God, Thomas says no.  He rejects (Greek) moderation and says that there is no such thing as too much love of God. ..

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