Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Earth is Full of the Goodness of the Lord

"...it abundantly clear that human beings do not will what a perfectly good God would will. Post-fall human beings have soaked the crust of the earth with the tears of those suffering from poverty, exploitation, degradation, war, and all the other horrendous evils human beings perpetrate on one another. It is a jarring understatement to say that our wills are not fixed on what is perfectly good.
   To the extent that they are not, however, our wills are alienated from God’s will, which is perfectly good. Unless this alienation can be overcome, we are at a distance from God. You cannot get personal relationship with another person just by being in the same place as that person. You need also to have some meeting of minds and hearts, and there cannot be any such harmony of wills between a perfectly good God and a person whose will is not fixed in righteousness."
-Eleonore Stump, Beauty as a Road to God
(Full ref: "Beauty as a Road to God", Sacred Music, Winter 2007 (134.4), pp. 11-24.)

The above reminded me of The Apology of Aristides, in which Aristides argued that the thesis 'the earth is a god' cannot be supported:

"Those then who believe concerning the earth that it is a god have hitherto deceived themselves, since it is furrowed and set with plants and trenched; and it takes in the filthy refuse of men and beasts and cattle. And at times it becomes unfruitful, for if it be burnt to ashes it becomes devoid of life, for nothing germinates from an earthen jar. And besides if water be collected upon it, it is dissolved together with its products. And it is trodden under foot of men and beast, and receives the bloodstains of the slain; and it is dug open, and filled with the dead, and becomes a tomb for corpses. But it is impossible that a nature, which is holy and worthy and blessed and immortal, should allow of anyone of these things. And hence it appears to us that the earth is not a god but a creation of God."

Thank God for the graces that allow us to surrender and unite our wills to His -- and thank God for filling the earth with His goodness! 

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