Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When "Good" is Not Actually Good


For Lent, I am reading a guide by Richard Rohr, an amazing Franciscan writer.  One more thinker/writer whom I adore and who is often on lists of "dissenters," lists I would be proud to be named on, lists created by people who do not get it, who see life through a lens of fear, who see God as Judge. Christ came specifically to speak to these people, but as he said, "the poor shall always be with you."  Poor of spirit, for sure.  (Sigh. I am in a bit of a desert right now, feeling surrounded by ignorance, intolerance, hypocrisy.)

I read this particular passage before a yoga class this week. It is something that has been on my mind a lot -- this idea that there are many "good" choices to be made, but what is the "right" choice?  How do we discern true good from false?

"...let me point out something we almost always fail to notice. We can only be tempted to something that is good on some level, partially good, or good for someone, or just good for us and not for others.  Temptations are always about "good" things, or we could not be tempted... Most people's daily ethical choices are not between total good and total evil, but between various shades of good, a partial good that is perceived as an absolute good (because of the self as central reference point), or even evil that disguises itself as good.  These are what get us into trouble."

Indeed.

I think this is exactly what eventually binds us to regret, obligation, bitterness.

Where do you do this in your own life?


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