Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Objects of Enjoyment

2 Corinthians 5:1

To enjoy something is to rest with satisfaction in it for its own sake. On the other hand, to use something is to employ whatever means we can to obtain what we desire. Suppose that we were travelers in a foreign country and couldn't live happily away from our native country. Our traveling was miserable and, wanting to end our misery, we decided to go home. We find out, however, that we must use some form of transportation, either by land or water, in order to reach our native country, where we will be happy. The beauty of the land we pass through and the pleasurable motion charms our hearts. Those pleasures turn things we should use into objects of enjoyment and as a result we don't hurry to end our journey. Becoming engrossed in imagined delight, our thoughts are diverted from the delights of home that would truly make us happy.

This is a picture of our condition in our mortal lives. We have wandered far from God. If we want to return to our Father's home, this world must be used and not enjoyed, so that the invisible things of God may be clearly seen and understood by the things that are made. By means of material and temporary things, we may grasp that which is spiritual and eternal. But the true objects of enjoyment are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
—Augustine of Hippo

Readings taken from Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers


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