Magnanimity is a virtue we can all aspire to possess, yet it can be challenging to understand its full meaning. St. Albert the Great, whom the Church celebrates this week, embodied this virtue. The greatness of his soul is shown in the way he rejoiced in the intellectual strength and holiness of his student, St. Thomas Aquinas. The fact that most people are not aware that Albert was Thomas’ teacher reveals the greatness of Albert’s soul. We don’t see holy cards of him saying, “I taught Thomas all he knows!” Instead, he rejoiced quietly in the work of grace in the life of his student.

Here is a little way to see if you possess a magnanimous heart. Over the next week, see how you respond when you witness the goodness in your friends, children, spouse, or students. If you genuinely rejoice and don’t feel the need to be recognized for their good works or virtue, praise God. However, if you find yourself disturbed, spend time asking yourself why, and pray for an increase in this beautiful virtue. You can also take the Virtue Strengths Survey to see your own virtue strengths.

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