Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The School of Love & Other Essays, April 27


[continued from yesterday]

...It does not matter much what excuses we may make, to what subterfuges we may resort, how suc­cessfully we may deceive ourselves or others.

Let the outward show of things be what it may, the man who always takes the easiest line of life, and who always finds reasons, justifications, for taking the easiest line of life, no matter how brave, and grand, and asser­tive those reasons may sound, is in the end no more than a coward; the modem popular affectation of a square jaw and an unbending eye, cultivated nowadays so assiduously, will not save him from self-condemnation.

On the other hand the man who does the right thing, or, harder still, having done the wrong thing owns up to it, and makes an effort to put it right or atone for it, is a brave man, no matter what it may cost him, and no matter what others may think; indeed, the more it costs him, and the more he has public opinion to face, the braver man he must be said to be.

Now there are various ways of facing an unpleasant and difficult situation, but three are by far the most common.

One is to face it and not to look at it; to pretend to oneself that it does not exist; to put on a smile outside and hide the consciousness beneath so far as one is able; to affect bravery, all the more because one is a shirker.

For instance, it is far easier, when one has done an evil deed, to deny that the deed is evil, than to repent of the evil that is done; and there are very many cowards who hide themselves beneath that sham...

[continued tomorrow]

From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918

No comments: