Monday, August 4, 2008

Terminal Virtue

So I don’t have the perfect family; neither do you. I still have to love them anyway; why won't you? So you don’t approve of what my family is doing; neither do I. But (until now) you had some moral influence; why did you refuse to use it to encourage us toward a better course?

You admit my being with my family doesn't compromise my integrity. So what's with yours? Why feel you must stay away? Why should being there for us, loving us, compromise your integrity?

Alright, then, go guard your virtue. I freely admit it's of a higher order than mine. Wrap yourself in it as a bright, shining cloak, handcrafted by you. We need you - so much! - but we shall manage without you.

In your virtue, do me the favor of reading a very virtuous chapter of the Bible: First Corinthians 13.

And ask yourself whether Christ ever kept Himself aloof from sinners.

I bear you witness: virtue that prohibits a person from loving

P.S.) Could I perhaps persuade you to go back to being a sinner, like the rest of us? You were kind when you were a sinner.


James the Thickheaded said...

Wow. Very powerful.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Well, it turns out not to have been quite fair toward the dear person to whom it was directed, who was simply struggling with how to *show* love without appearing to condone evil. And was messing up, withholding love in effect but not by intention.

I struggle with the same thing.

Let's say, for example, a woman is planning to have an abortion. Let's further say her reason is no more compelling than that she is ashamed to be discovered pregnant and unwed. If you fail to persuade her to change course, and she is resolutely set upon it and you know further discussion will be of no avail, then how do you go about loving her, in concrete terms, in terms of action "on the ground"? What will your praxis be?

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

I have, so far, three clues to this riddle.

1.) The need to get over moral indignation, a self-serving indulgence I know I cannot afford.

2.) The need to remember everything is ultimately in God's hands, Who makes everything work out for the greatest good.

3.) The suspicion that the question won't be answered in this (so-Western1) way - cogito, cogito, cogito! - but through prayer.