Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The School of Love & Other Essays, May 4


[continued from yesterday]

...Let us try to answer this enquiry in as few words as possible.

To begin with, there are some for whom this responsibility may indeed mean all that has just been asked. Some may feel and know in their hearts that they are asked to prove their freedom, and their right use of it, by freely surrendering it; as many a rich man feels that he then makes the best use of his riches when he gives it away.

Such men know beyond a doubt that nothing else but this complete surrender of themselves will satisfy them; by no other course of action wi11 they be happy.

But these are by no means all; they are the very few; they are those of whom we say that they have a vocation, for a vocation in this limited and accepted sense is defined as a call to devote oneself entirely to the work of God.

Of these, then, and to these we do not here speak. We speak rather to those to whom we can say at once that the responsibility of their freedom does not exact so much.

How much, then, it will be asked, does it exact?

I do not know; it will differ in each case; but in general it may be said to be as much as an able and willing heart is able and willing to give.

Cir­cumstances are to be considered; individual characters are to be considered. A married man, with family cares, and other anxieties, cannot always give as much as one who has but himself to look to; a married woman usually still less.

Again a character that is naturally shy, and reserved, and contemplative can often make itself do less than one that is by nature open, and expansive, and active; all this must be taken into account when we make our estimates...

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

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