THE HARMONY OF GOODNESS

BEAUTY AND CREATIVE PRESENCE

Mutuality
The Tensions: Understanding Creation—Many Individuals Understanding Individuals: Isolated or Related? Understanding Life – scarcity or abundance? Understanding God – generous or demanding?

Trinitarian life
“Behold how the fullness of divine goodness and the fullness of happiness and glory come together in one witness to truth. They clearly demonstrate what ought to be thought concerning the fullness of divine charity in that plurality of persons. Together, Together, they condemn suspicion of any defect in that supreme love; in accord they proclaim the fullness of all perfection. In order for for charity to be true, it demands a plurality of persons; in order for charity to be perfected, it requires a Trinity of persons.” persons.” Richard of St. Victor, On the Trinity III

Divine desire: Trinitarian communion
—Manifestation: extend the life of the Trinity — Creation — Incarnation — Beatitude

Divine desire
Divine desire and the Incarnation “Now the human nature in Christ was predestined to be glorified, and in order to be glorified, it was predestined to be united to the Word, in as much as such glory as it was granted would never have been conferred on this nature had it not been so united.” united.”
– Scotus, Ordinatio III, d. 7, q. 3 Scotus,

IS THIS BASED ON THE FALL?
No! God’s intention in creating is prior to any God’ sin The Incarnation is independent of original sin. Divine love is debtor to no one. Divine love does not rejoice at the misfortune of another. (nor should we!)

Consider the goodness…
“God’s goal in creating the world was to prepare for the God’ Incarnation. The end of his plan was the beginning, and divine Wisdom saw from all eternity that the Word would become flesh, taking on our nature and coming to live among us. All this was preordained before the creation of Lucifer and the world; before the fall of our first parents.” parents.”
– St. Francis de Sales, Homily for Christmas, 1622

How we are imago Dei
Divine attributes: God as creator God as author God as generous God as merciful Human characteristics: Recognizing beauty Finding meaning Gratitude Charity/forgiveness

EACH MOMENT OPENS TO A SACRAMENTAL PRESENCE
EXPERIENCE OF THE HOLY AN EPIPHANY OF BEAUTY GOD’S ACTIVE ABUNDANT PRESENCE GOD’ NOW

THE DESIRE OF OUR HEART
The rationality of love
– The human HEART has two affections: for justice and for happiness – They are the foundation for the ability for selfselfrestraint; self-control self– Profoundly Augustinian insight – Integrates human affective desire into rationality

THE HUMAN HEART
Affectio commodi = the affection for happiness, perfection, the self Affectio iustitiae = the affection for value, intrinsic worth, independent of the self

THE AFFECTION FOR HAPPINESS IS OUR NATURAL DISPOSITION THE AFFECTION FOR JUSTICE IS OUR FREE DISPOSITION

OUR RATIONAL NATURE GROUNDS FREE CHOICE
The scale of value (hierarchy of goods) in the world (God’s point of view) (God’ This scale requires the appropriate balance of the two dynamic dispositions Our affection for justice was not lost through sin We act most freely when both affections are engaged, not one alone

OUR RATIONAL NATURE HAS FREEDOM AS ITS FRUIT
When we choose in light of God’s God’ viewpoint and When the two affections are in appropriate harmonic balance, then Our act reveals the perfection of rationality that is freedom

THE RESULT: PRESENCE/POISE
Balance of presence to self and others The athlete, dancer, musician Artist The inner “stillpoint” of readiness stillpoint”

THE PRESENT MOMENT
The Spirit’s “now” (the audible…) Spirit’ now” audible… When genuine self pours out in gracious, creative liberality

FROM INNER HARMONY…
In every action, I work to BALANCE the affection for happiness with the affection for justice. Scotus’s images: the artist, the musician, the Scotus’ dancer… dancer…

…TO OUTER BEAUTY
“…just as an artist with knowledge of his work in mind “…just knows exactly what to do, a person with moral wisdom knows immediately the means to use and does not have to reason backwards from principles to other prior principles.” principles.
Scotus, Lectura Prologue Scotus,

FROM IMAGO DEI TO IMAGO CHRISTI
An incarnational dynamic
We are channels of divine abundance Our acts of peace are sacramental Our acts of peace transform us and the world Dynamic, divine epiphanies

The desires of our heart
“To want an act to be perfect so that by means of it one may better love some object for its own sake, stems from the affection for justice… justice… …And thus the good could have wanted happiness so that, by having it, they could love the highest good more perfectly.” perfectly.”
Scotus, Ordinatio II, 6,2 Scotus,

DIVINE ACCEPTATIO:
“And so, it is well said that God always rewards beyond our worth, and universally beyond any particular value which an act might merit. This merit is beyond nature and its intrinsic goodness; it is from a gratuitous divine acceptance. What’s more, even What’ beyond that justice which would commonly reward an act, for God rewards by means of pure liberality.” liberality.”
Scotus, Ordinatio I, 17 Scotus,

A VISION OF ABUNDANCE:

Are you jealous because I am generous? (Mt. 20) Tell those I have invited that my banquet is ready… come to the feast! (Mt. 22) ready… And my delight is to be with the children of men. (Prov. 8:30) (Prov.

Making the Connections

Living from an abundance perspective… perspective… Think of a time… time… All the “inconveniences of the Incarnation” Incarnation” What is the potential for creativity? For beauty?

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful