Only he who understands that there exists things "important in themselves," that there are things which are beautiful and good in themselves, only the man who grasps the sublime demand of values, their call, and the duty to turn toward them and to let oneself be formed by their law, is capable of personally realizing moral values. Only the man who can see beyond his subjective horizon and who, free from pride and concupiscence, does not always ask, "what is satisfying for me?", but who leaving behind him all narrowness, abandons himself to that which is important in itself—the beautiful, the good—and subordinates himself to it, only he can become the bearer of moral values.
The capacity to grasp values, to affirm them, and to respond to them, is the foundation for realizing the moral values of man.
Now these marks can be found only in the man who possesses reverence. Reverence is the attitude which can be designated as the mother of all moral life, for in it man first takes a position toward the world which opens his spiritual eyes and enables him to grasp values.
This is from Dietrich von Hildebrand's interesting little work, Fundamental Moral Attitudes.