Catholic Dictionary

Term

GRADATION OF VIRTUES

Definition

The hierarchy of dignity among the virtues. Supernatural virtues rank higher than the natural. Among the supernatural virtues, the theological virtues are higher than the moral, and among the theological hope stands higher than faith, and charity stands higher than faith and hope. Yet in practice there can be no charity (or love) without hope, and neither charity nor hope without faith. The mind must first know by faith whom to trust and whom to love and why, before hope and charity are possible.