Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Satanic attack on the family: The greater good. (3/5)

God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” [Genesis 1:27]. We therefore always seek what we conceive as good, beautiful, and true. We may at times choose evil but never intentionally. For example, although God’s way resides in forgiveness not in revenge, when we are offended, we may choose revenge convinced that we are doing the good that our enemies deserve. I believe in absolute right and wrong, but people will always choose what they think is right although it may not be. The same is true with beauty and truth.

Even when we make wrong and evil choices, we make them not in order to seek evil but rather to seek what we consider is good. Adam and Eve chose to eat from the forbidden tree because they were convinced it is "good for food [goodness], pleasing to the eyes [beauty], and desirable for gaining wisdom [truth] " [Gen 3: 6]. In the same way when men or women leave their spouses in pursuit of new lovers, they do it seeking what they justify to be good, beautiful, and true, although it is far from it all.

We are created to seek what is good, beautiful, and true, secondarily, so that we may love and enjoy God’s creation "God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good" [Genesis 1:31]. Primarily, we are ultimately created for God who is the source and summit of beauty, truth, and goodness and we will continue to thirst and hunger in life until we are united with God: "Our heart is restless until it rests in you [God]" (St Augustine)

When we pursue goodness, beauty, and truth outside God's will for us, we are settling for a less; i.e A lesser good, a lesser beauty, and a lesser truth. For example, a child is given two pieces of chocolate and told to share one with his sister. On his way he thought to himself: "It is so good to eat them both" (i.e. a lesser good), then he thought again: "I will instead share one with my sister" (i.e. a greater good). We can see right away that a greater good requires obedience, trust, discipline, sacrifice, selflessness, but most of all love of others. Has he chosen the lesser good, the child would have satisfied a temporal desire. By choosing the greater good, he has brought himself and his sister one-step closer to each other. It is not that the purpose of a greater good is to achieve a higher reward, rather it is chosen out of love and expects no reward but love itself.

Adam and Eve, by choosing a lesser good, loved themselves more than they loved God. Men and women, who leave their spouses for others, love themselves more than they love their spouses and God. But what are we to think of them? By excusing them, we would have excused the pain and suffering that they have caused their spouses and children? By judging them, we would have ignored their suffering in enduring what they considered loveless painful relationships. It is in these situations that we turn to our Lord for guidance, in his sacred scriptures and in his Holy Church.

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