Since hearing this in a homily it manifested into a maxim of sorts. When I have a moral decision to make and my lack of virtue is apparent it comes in handy. Choosing the good comes easily when you have the virtue. You don’t have to think about it, you just do it. It is a skill. When virtue is lacking you may start to negotiate internally. You wane or waver over the moral choice.
This is where the maxim comes in. I remind myself that it is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. It has helped a lot because when we lack virtue we are going to suffer in some way depending on our choice. When that virtue gets built up we can choose the good without feeling it as suffering or loss on our part. This concept takes a little getting used to. Below I toss off two examples from my own life to clarify. Continue reading “It is Better to Suffer for Doing Good than for Doing Evil”
The 18th century poet Robert Burns famously wrote in “To a Mouse”;
“But Mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!”
This poem would later be the inspiration for a novel more of us may be familiar with, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. A quote the regular readers of this blog may be more familiar with, “If you’re ever looking for a joke to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” This is not necessarily a “feel good” blog post, but is meant for those who find themselves wandering in their own metaphorical wilderness.
The creation account in Genesis 1 repeats many themes. One that stands out is the repetition that as God looks upon His work, he observes that it is good. This is fitting because at the heart of creation is an origin in God. All that God is, is good. Things like justice, mercy, beauty, wisdom, patience, strength; the list goes on. All that is not good is a departure from God. As creatures, from our Creator, we are each imparted with these gifts in various arrangements. One of these traits I find to be universal, though surfacing different for each individual, is the instinctual desire to fix things.
Suffering is something we all do, probably daily. Some people are really good at hiding it while others are over powered by it. What is suffering to you and how can you begin to change the way you handle it?
Twelve years ago this month, tragedy struck my family. My brother Brett, at the age of 27, died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep. In the months of sorrow that followed, each remaining member of our family grieved differently. Some were angry, others felt guilty, some needed to talk, and others kept silent. I was sick with worry for Brett’s soul. I needed to do something more than pray for him, something tangible; so I fasted. I prayed that the Lord would use my offering to shorten Brett’s stay in purgatory. I felt that, through fasting, I could somehow stay connected with Brett and he would continue to feel my love. Continue reading “The Joy of Fasting”
Lent is here! You really can’t miss it, nor should you. Even if you weren’t paying attention you can’t escape all of the tell tale signs. Ash Wednesday, the first Parish Fish Fry, stations of the cross being offered and then of course there are the great readings Holy Mother Church gives us this week on the first Sunday of the Lenten season. In the recent movement of the weekly readings we have shifted quickly from a calm loving sense of reassurance to a freezing cold bucket of ice water dumped squarely on our heads.