Byte-Sized Virtue: Season 4, Episode 2 – It’s the Little Details
This is partly a follow-up to last week’s episode, partly a response to some feedback that episode received, and partly a continued reflection on the nature of virtue, morality, sin, and anti-virtue.
Paradoxically, it’s often easier to act in a virtuous manner when the action undertaken is significant. Where the temptation to act against virtue will often come in — and often be at its strongest — will be in the little details, the small-seeming things. For example: it’s often easier to return intact a found wallet, leaving all of its contents undisturbed, than it is to be similarly honest with another person in an intimate moment…at least, if in that moment one has some unpleasant news to convey.
Which is not to say that it’s not both good and commendable to do the big things, the significant acts of virtue. But we shouldn’t confuse excellence in this regard with excellence in pursuit of virtue in general; we need to examine our conduct in other, smaller matters as well.
The season of Lent — the (roughly) forty days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that precede Easter— began on Ash Wednesday (which, this year, fell on March 1st). It will continue until Holy Thursday (April 13th), and will thereafter be followed by the Triduum (comprising Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil). The Easter season then runs for another (roughly) fifty days, ending on Pentecost (June 4th).