Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Enjoying food, drink, sex, and play...

Who does not rejoice in a good meal?
How is it that a cold drink after a long day brings refreshment?
Why are all thoughts forgotten in the pleasure of love-making?

These blessed moments have always been key in my belief in Divine goodness. Why would God make such activities so wonderful? How is that humanity's most natural functions to sustain life come to be so enjoyable?

And yet all of God's gifts can easily be distorted. C.S. Lewis writes (in "First and Second Things"), "By valuing too highly a real, but subordinate good, we have come near to losing that good itself."

If we make children, alcohol, jobs, etc. our chief good we not only miss out on higher goods (or the Highest Good), the lower good itself loses its opportunity to bring delight. We have terms for those who make secondary goods the highest good: workaholics, alcoholics, nymphomaniacs, gluttons and the like. The question then is what Supreme Good exists which serves to subordinate all lesser goods and put them into proper orbit or relationship around the Chief Good. It has to be a Chief Good that values and gives place to these secondary goods. The Chief Good would not want to deny these goods, but would want them to be used in their proper place. The Chief Good would then at the same time bring a rapture of delight in and of Itself/Himself that would improve the secondary goods and yet be sufficient in and of Itself/Himself.

May we find the One who brings sufficient peace and yet one who delights in letting us delight in lesser things as well (and yet at the same time prevents us from letting lesser goods become tyrants).

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