Amoris Laetitia 265: Thirsting For Good

amoris laetitia memeThis paragraph strikes me as deeply Ignatian:

265. Doing what is right means more than “judging what seems best” or knowing clearly what needs to be done, as important as this is. Often we prove inconsistent in our own convictions, however firm they may be; even when our conscience dictates a clear moral decision, other factors sometimes prove more attractive and powerful. We have to arrive at the point where the good that the intellect grasps can take root in us as a profound affective inclination, as a thirst for the good that outweighs other attractions and helps us to realize that what we consider objectively good is also good “for us” here and now. A good ethical education includes showing a person that it is in his own interest to do what is right. Today, it is less and less effective to demand something that calls for effort and sacrifice, without clearly pointing to the benefits which it can bring.

This picks up on the previous sections where it is mentioned that the cultivation of good habits is vital in orienting ourselves to virtue, even when we are tempted to direct ourselves in a different direction. I can attest this is one of the hardest aspects of parenting, let alone my own moral life. What about any of you readers?

For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Amoris Laetitia 265: Thirsting For Good

  1. Liam says:

    This is one area where the current cultural valorization of “authenticity” and a resultant dependence on feelings and sentiment is dangerous in a Flannery O’Connor sense. We tend to be deeply skeptical about cultivating habits that don’t give us the instant gratification of a clear emotional connection, and we’ve lost the appreciate for the opportunities that are more available in a desert experience offered by spiritual dryness and dark nights of the soul and (especially) dark nights of the senses.

    So, to be blunt: Discard fear of or anxiety about what seems to be rote prayer. Rather, re-imagine what cultivating that practice offers. Ditto with other “traditional” devotional praxis. There are centuries of wisdom lurking there if one can scrape off one’s prejudices regarding them. If you need a starting point – the beginning of a yellow brick road – one good place is described by Thomas Merton – which relies on an Ignation understanding of the good of desire and how desire can lead us to God even when we haven’t a clue how it will do so:

    “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

    • Liam says:

      PS: This is where the small but piercing *uncreated* Light of the Morningstar of Christmas that seems nearly enveloped by the inky darkness of the world can lead us.

      John 1:5:
      καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.
      et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt.
      And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

  2. Dick Martin says:

    1 John 1:5(NKJV)
    This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

    Merry Christmas and a Joy filled New Year.

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