Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lent 2013, X

X. In order for lesser goods to remain good they must remain lesser. To make them idols only destroys them. Understanding this, however, is not simply a matter of intellectual knowledge, because intellectual knowledge will not make that half-gallon of ice cream or random bikini girl less attractive. In fact, in their own essence, they cannot be made less attractive. Each created thing in its own way is good, and I cannot lessen that good. Wishing I could is rather a churlish thing to do, demonizing them in order to make myself feel less pathetic. You can see this sometimes in some Christians’ overly legalistic approach to modesty. Some men try to impugn some crass or evil tinge to the bodies of women, when really the issue is not the body that God created but the concupiscence we do not control. Our problem is that we do not focus on the good that is, but rather on the evil that we are tempted to and then we blame the thing that tempts us. Essential to the concept of fasting is that I am not denying but rather affirming the good of the thing that I am fasting from. So if I give up pizza for a time, it is not because pizza is bad. Perhaps my use of it tends toward the bad, so by turning myself for a time in the other direction I am actually doing more to respect the great gift that is pizza than I ever could by incessantly gobbling it down. When I return to pizza I will be able to appreciate it more.


  1. You is smart Mr. Ryan. I'm having to chew on some of these.. ; ) *chuckle* Love you anyhow even if I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around these. : ) Big Texas Hugs.... Praying for you dear one.

    1. Ha Ha. Mrs. Amelia, welcome to the inside of my head. My brain is always wrestling with thoughts too big for it. But it isn't the size of our thoughts that Jesus looks at. I rather think He cares more about the size of our love, and maybe even the size of our hugs. :-)

      Thanks for the hugs and the prayers. I always need both. God bless.