Tuesday 26 October 2010

Virtue today, part 2.

That which virtue seeks is truth; truth that you can reach out for and take into your life. It is by virtue that human beings are moulded as persons; it is virtue that makes us more genuinely human.

Now, for those who are not content with the secular vision and who are motivated to look beyond its confines, the human virtues are already quietly in play. Thuse of us who are doing this have simply not accepted the secular dynamic, which says that we are all emerging from an era of repression into an era in which we wil all be able to live life to the full, but instead have simply discerned that the secular vision is insufficient.

For Christians, virtue has another, greater, power - virtue is the way that they seek conformity with Christ. For them, the Kingdom of God is their explicit goal, and a more 'human' humanity means a grace-filled humanity, one that is enriched by grace-filled virtues.

The starting point for Christians is not that there is something lacking in the culture which they must seek to put right, but rather that there is something lacking inside them and that it is they who must change. Even so, self-motivation will take a person only so far, and thus Christians seek to open themselves to the gift of grace which is a greater calling still. It is by welcoming the truth of grace, by applying it in their lives, and by struggling with challenges to faith, that they live by a new dynamic. Hearing the invitation to Eternal life, being received into the companionship of Jesus Christ and deciding to live in His light, is the route to a totally different life, a life which engages all the virtues.
And so the Holy Father in Ubicumque et Semper declares that the Church "has never tired of making known to the whole world the beauty of the Gospel as she preaches Jesus Christ, true God and true man, the same 'yesterday, today and forever', who by His death and Resurrection, brought us salvation and fulfilled the promise made of old. Hence the mission of evangelisation, a continuation of the work desired by the Lord Jesus, is necessary for the Church: it cannot be overlooked; it is an expression of her very nature."
How imporatnt then, is the clear proclamation of the Gospel in today's anodine climate, in enabling a humanity worthy of the name, a humanity that finds its full flourishing in Jesus Christ.

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