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For Your Goodness

opinion2Few moments are as wonderful as when you come to know the goodness of a thing. Not your liking it, needing it, wanting it, or not. But rather, the moment you come to recognise its fundamental goodness and come to accept that its goodness is enough.

When this happens you forget yourself and you fall in love with the object of your attention as you adopt a reverent posture of wonder before it. You express only gratitude for having noticed it. You desire only to place yourself in its service, to share, in some small way, in the grace of its presence. It could be anything really, or anyone, because when we recognise goodness, when we are free enough to recognise it, we are actually reverencing God.

But we’re not always keen on goodness. Sometimes we fail to recognise it. Or sometimes it’s not enough for us. When the simple goodness of a thing being what it is isn’t enough for us we begin to do terrible things. We make ourselves cruel judges of that which the Creator thought worthy of creation. We make our petty desires the measuring stick of a reality whose complexity far exceeds our understanding.

Few moments are as terrible as when we fail to recognise the goodness of a thing. Few moments are as devastating as when we deny the gift of our goodness and refuse to accept that we belong to each other. We seem to be living through one of those moments now. It seems very difficult these days to recognise our goodness.

Our recognition of goodness is always our coming into the presence of God. This is the wisdom of worship, the righteousness of reverence, the mystery of revelation. This is the great gift of self-giving love, the peaceful beauty of things merely being what they are. But this grace of recognition also helps us to know when things aren’t yet as they ought to be. The present of goodness is also goodness becoming.

There is goodness in suffering love, in righteous anger, in witnessing unto death. There is goodness in the struggle for justice, the tenderness of mercy, the surrender of sacrifice. There is goodness in the reality of truth, even and especially when that truth is difficult or dangerous to speak. There is goodness in each of these precisely because they are instances of our witness to the beauty of life and our insistence on the depravity of its enemies.

The goodness of a thing is not an abstract idea, but something to be experienced. This is important, however difficult, to remember in times of violence and confusion, division and despair, even death. We will not think our way to goodness. We will only come to know the goodness of a difficult moment by our living through it. If we want for the grace of knowing God in all things we must also want for the courage to do the will of God in every moment. – Full text @

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