“Virtus in Medio Stat” – Virtue Lies in the Middle

There is an old saying that virtue lies in the middle (in Latin: virtus in medio stat). Between excess on one side and defect on the other, virtue can be found. A perfect example of this is St. Teresa of Calcutta. She was criticized equally from the left and the right-because she lived and worked in the middle.

The left claimed her acts of charity were false and self-serving. Of course, St. Mother Teresa was a fierce advocate for the unborn, stating during high profile speeches at Harvard, a Washington D.C. Prayer Breakfast, and in accepting the Nobel Prize that “[t]he greatest destroyer of peace is abortion.” Statements like this made her the enemy of abortion advocates.

On the right, she was criticized for her willingness to embrace people of all faiths, and to see Jesus in them, regardless of their religion or philosophy. They saw her refusal to proselytize in her work with the poor as a form of abandonment of orthodoxy. They would ask, “How can such a person be considered a saint?”

In this commentary from Crux, Fr. Dwight Longenecker proposes that these attacks only prove her authenticity.