Friday, March 19, 2010

The major question of discernment

Artist: Carl Larsson

I have spent a lot of time over the years with people who torment themselves with a craving to make just exactly the right decision on what to do. I think that is most unfortunate because it matters not so much what we do but, rather, how we do it. And so I was pleased to find the following:

The differences in human life depend, for the most part, not on what people do, but upon the meaning and purpose of their acts. All are born, all die, all lose their loved ones, nearly all marry and nearly all work, but the significance of these acts may vary enormously. The same physical act may be in one situation vulgar and in another holy. The same work may be elevating or degrading. The major question is not "What act do I perform?" but "In what frame do I put it?" Wisdom about life consists in taking the inevitable ventures which are the very stuff of common existence, and glorifying them.

-- Elton Trueblood

By the way, today is the feast day of St. Joseph of the House of David who is patron of workers. The Trueblood passage, therefore, seems rather appropriate.

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