The Battle of the Virtues and Vices: Defending the Interior Castle of the Soul

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What is the greatest spiritual battle?

The greatest battles do not occur in a distant land or even in past times but in the depths of the human soul. It is the battle between virtue and vice, the conflict between aspiring to be a saint or living a mediocre life. The conflict between reaching heaven or forfeiting it.

In this spiritual masterpiece, Pope Saint Leo IX, identifies our foes: “The enemies in this battle—the vices and temptations which infect our fallen nature—are invisible and internal.”

These invisible and internal vices have dragged many souls to hell, and they will not stop until every person has surrendered to their pernicious and vile attacks. Are you saddened and discouraged by such daily assaults? There is hope. In these pages, you will find over twenty-five virtues to help you win the spiritual victory against sin. With God’s grace and virtues like humility, detachment, prudent restraint, firm stability, and others, the battle can be won.

But keep in mind that spiritual victory does not happen overnight. The battle wages on until your final breath. The question remains: Are you willing to fight?

Just as this book is a dialogue between the virtues and vices, so too must we learn to listen to the voice of truth and not the voice of lies. The Lord, the General of our souls, whispers words of encouragement and peace while the devil, the captain of vice and enemy of our souls, tempts us to sin and then accuses us.

On our earthly pilgrimage fraught with suffering, sorrow, and trials, let us keep our eyes fixed on our celestial homeland, the eternal city, where there will be perpetual peace. In heaven, Our Lord will welcome His glorious martyrs and courageous soldiers, those who have kept the faith and fought victoriously.

There is nothing more important in this life than fortifying the interior castle of the soul with virtue. 

Pope Saint Leo IX
Publication Date:
Translation By:
Fr. Robert Nixon

4 Reviews

  • 5
    Virtues and Vices

    Posted by Dan Stafford on Sep 14th 2023

    Golly!, What a wonderful book. I rank it with the likes of Imitation of Christ. I may call and buy a…

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  • 5
    This is a truly wonderful little book!!! I recommend it to all who are looking for ways to improve themselves!

    Posted by Dolores Shawver on Sep 7th 2023

    Thank you for publishing this small but powerful book!

  • 5
    A Most Unique Book

    Posted by Jordan Avery on Sep 7th 2023

    As someone who is always looking for good devotional information on the virtues I love this little b…

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  • 4
    A Helpful (and Even Fun!) Little Meditation

    Posted by Isaiah M on Sep 1st 2023

    This little book is not only insightful and spiritually nourishing, it’s also simply charming. The d…

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