Published on April 10th, 2013 | by Alexandra Reis0
So I was thinking again…
Yes, I was thinking again and I knew I had to write an article on an important question right away. The question was this, what is goodness? I thought about it for a while, and finding myself stuck I decided to turn to my trusty Summa Theologica. Msg. Paul J. Glenn in simplified words defines it like this: “A thing has goodness in so far as it can be the goal of a desire or tendency. That is called good which answers an appetite or appetency. Now, a thing can be the goal of a tendency by the fact that it is a thing at all, that it has being.” And so goodness is in being, but also, as St. Thomas says, in perfection.
Then I came to the thought that God IS and is also perfect, but what does God do? God loves! God the Father spoke the Word and the Word was God the Son. Their love was infinite and the Holy Ghost proceeded from this. All right, so the attribution to the infinite Being is love. Love is the one thing that has always existed, and was always meant to exist within God. Love is in goodness and goodness is in being.
In love’s nature, love wants to share itself, and the first thing God created to show this goodness was the angels. But one of the attributes of love is that it’s free and therefore God gave them a choice. As we all know, some angels fell and the concept of evil came about. Evil is therefore the lack of goodness, and since goodness is being, evil is the absence of it.
And so what has this to do with you? Everything! You were made with the choice of loving God or not. God made us to reflect His goodness and when we accept Him and follow His laws, we become good and therefore have the incentive to become perfect. But I like how this can really show us what humility is.
All the goodness in us comes from one source, God. We cannot be good in ourselves but rather reflect the infinite goodness. Humility is then seeing that we are nothing and attributing all that is good to God. When we attribute our goodness or holiness to ourselves, we place ourselves on the level of God, but when we see that we are merely a reflection of this and not give credit to ourselves, then we are truly humble. Unfortunately we can’t say we’re humble, because then we’re attributing a kind of goodness to ourselves, so really, as a mirror has a frame, so we can see that we reflect a limited amount of perfection.
But I wasn’t done thinking, dear reader! I then realized that we were made simply as empty shells to be filled with love and goodness, and the more we give up our own wills, the better we become. It’s like a large glass, it has to give the emptiness up in order to be filled. If we give up ourselves, God fills us with Himself, or as we call it, fills us with sanctity, and we become more pleasing to Him. Goodness hates evil, and being hates nothingness. The more we are less of ourselves, which is a sort of emptiness, the more we are good and consequently more ourselves. Those that are closest to God develop their “true” personalities to the fullest because they live as God meant them to live.
This then led me to the idea that if God created us to reflect His goodness, this world is then not our home. If He hates evil, and this world has evil in it, it’s impossible for this to be our home! He offers us heaven which is perfect because heaven is Him. When we are in heaven, we are participating in the perfect life and therefore are perfected ourselves. God didn’t make us for this earth because our world is full of both good and evil. We make a choice in this world and pick the side that we’re going to follow for eternity. We are beings that are meant to reflect God, and God being eternal, we must have an eternal home to forever reflect Him.
This is why the world cannot succeed in finding goodness without God. When you take God out of the picture, you don’t have goodness! How can empty creatures form a lasting good? Of course we can produce temporary, natural good, like giving money to a cause, but when you eliminate God, that supernatural good is not there, and therefore all that is done without Him will not last. We need God back in our society if we’re going to stop the evil in the world.
And so what do we do now after reading all that rambling? As I’ve said in my other article, keep death before your eyes, or rather eternity, and perfect yourself when you have the time! When we reach heaven, all the good that we obtained on earth is the good we’ll have forever, and everything else is done away with, so why not, as Our Lord said, “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect!” We decide how much we give, and in giving do we receive! In suffering do we give up our own selves and obtain God. How much more will we want to be saints if we always have this thought before us. It’s up to you how much you give of yourself to God. How much will you give?