Learning to Want as we Ought

Today a post of mine was posted on Fare Forward’s blog.

Here’s a preview:

During the course of a homily on the virtue of faith I heard this Sunday, the priest gave an anecdote from his teenage years. I can’t quote him verbatim, but this is essence of what he said:

As a teenager, I thought that Heaven was essentially a mass that never ended. The very idea of sitting through a never-ending series of church hymns repulsed me. Nevertheless, I wanted to want this because I believed I should.

His experience of wanting Heaven despite his visceral repulsion to it is an example of what I think makes up the essence of the spiritual life: you must strive to want what you must want.

Isn’t that a strange concept? If I want to want something, don’t I want it? Not really. The fact that you can want to want something that you don’t desire shows that there are at least two parts of you that “want” and that these parts are out of line with one another. The first part is the will and the second part is an affective desire. The spiritual life is essentially the task of aligning these naturally misaligned faculties. Specifically, the will, informed by the intellect, should govern your affective desires.

To read the rest, please visit Fare Forward’s blog.

About these ads

About mattd4488

My name is Matt. I am currently a doctoral student at the Catholic University of America. My specialization is in Christian Ethics / Moral Theology. My aspiration is essentially to be a "translator" who makes the ethical tradition of Catholicism accessible to the lay secular world.
This entry was posted in Catholic Living, Moral Theology / Ethics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s