Thursday, December 08, 2005

be boring no longer

Benedict debunks the notion that living a holy life is boring. It’s frank talk like that that I like to hear.

As Benedict marked the 40th anniversary of the end of the Second Vatican Council, he contradicted the idea that a life of virtue and holiness is a boring one.

"There emerges in us the suspicion that the person who doesn't sin at all is basically a boring person, that something is lacking in his life, the dramatic dimension of being autonomous, that the freedom to say 'no' belongs to real human beings,” says Benedict.

He adds that "Man nurtures the suspicion that God, at the end of the day, takes something away from his life, that God is a competitor who limits our freedom and that we will be fully human only when we will have set him aside.”

That’s so true. There is no ‘drama’ in the life of a person who just merely succumbs to the most immediate whim inside him, to the most pressing temptation.

But how exciting and, in a sense “dramatic,” is the existence of someone who strives to do good, despite the urge to do otherwise: the tension....the pressure. The angels as they gaze down on us must be at the edge of their celestial couches saying among themselves, “Will he do it? Will he? I pray he doesn’t.....Oh here he is, let’s see what he does!”

There is more personality and character in a life like that, than in someone where moral tension and struggle are absent.

C.S. Lewis wrote something similiar:

At the beginning I said there were Personalities in God. I will go further now. There are no real personalities anywhere else. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most “natural” men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints.

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