A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, December 09, 2005

For your own good

It is the height of paternalism: a parent, a government, a public interest group, or some other “authority” says that they are doing something or telling you something “for your own good.”

Many times, we resent it or even rebel.

In today’s first reading (Isaiah 48:17-19), the Lord says

I, the LORD, your God,
teach you what is for your good,
and lead you on the way you should go.

And indeed many of us, one way or another, rebel.

But there is a great difference – an infinite difference – between merely human paternalism and the paternalism of God.

It is not just a difference in degree. It is not just that God is infinitely wiser and infinitely more loving than even the wisest and most caring paternal figure of this world.

When God teaches “what is for our good” it means infinitely more because God is good: God is goodness itself.

Moreover, when God teaches what is for our good, he is sharing of himself, for he is Good itself and Truth itself.

And when God leads us on the way we should go, he is leading us to himself and in himself.

I am the Way and the Truth and the Life, says the Lord,
for our infinite and eternal good.