Monday, August 8, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, August 9, 2011

As for doing good; that is one of the professions
which is full. Moreover I have tried it fairly and,
strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does
not agree with my constitution.

Henry David Thoreau; on this date, 1854, he
published “Walden”, of his time spent on the
pond. I lived near there for 18 months.

Do-gooders. Hmmmm. I’m with Thoreau; “doing good” in and of itself “does not agree with my constitution”.

I have often thought of Jesus’ rather sharp response to the person who called him “good”. “Why do you call me good?!” I think He wanted to make the point that Goodness, arrogated to oneself, is just abominable pride, as well as a failure to recognize that Goodness can only authentically manifest itself when it is a reflection of a human being’s unity with the character of Divine Love. Goodness is a charism of humility; a do-gooder lacks love, as well as self-awareness.

Do-goodism think itself better than others. It “puffs up”. It is like that Pharisee who gave thanks that he was “not like other men”. Meaning, better.

None of us is any better than anyone else. Authentic Goodness flows from those who grasp this truth.


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