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Life (the Good Life)

“People think about how to live a good life in many different ways. Some want rules to follow, regardless of how obedience to them impacts their neighbors. Others focus on achieving the results that they think are best, even though we often cannot predict the consequences of our actions. It is also possible to construe the good life in terms of virtues that become characteristic of people who consistently put them into practice. Someone needs to have good moral character in order to discern what is at stake in obedience to a particular rule or commitment to achieving a given goal. These ethical perspectives all shed at least a measure of light on what it means to become a good person morally. They all lack the ability, however, to make us merciful as God is merciful, which is truly an infinite goal…that calling strikes at the heart of what it means to find fulfillment as human persons who bear the divine image and likeness.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“The good life is about learning to be grateful in the midst of life’s problems…but it is also about learning to be present with God when we are too distressed to see past those problems…Above all, the good life is about allowing God to meet us exactly where we are, in the messiness, brokenness, and pain of the present moment. Sometimes we need to commit the ultimate heresy of our feel-good culture and actually lean into the pain we would rather be struggling against…The good life is about learning to get in touch with our feelings…but it is also about learning to see our feelings in perspective and not get swept away by them.” (Robin Phillips)


“Christian worship, we should recognize, is essentially a counter formation to those rival liturgies we are often immersed in, cultural practices that covertly capture our loves and longings, miscalibrating them, orienting us to rival versions of the good life. This is why worship is the heart of discipleship.” (James Smith)


“The idea of reaching ‘a good life’ without Christ is based on a double error. Firstly, we cannot do it; and secondly, in setting up ‘a good life’ as our final goal, we have missed the very point of our existence. Morality is a mountain which we cannot climb by our own efforts; and if we could we should only perish in the ice and unbreathable air of the summit, lacking those wings with which the rest of the journey has to be accomplished. For it is from there that the real ascent begins. The ropes and axes are ‘done away’ and the rest is a matter of flying.” (C. S. Lewis)


“Most people in our culture have had their minds and their character formed and shaped by the practices of the modern consumer state. The role of human beings is understood to be production and consumption. There is an accompanying extreme value placed on the illusion of free-choice and a good life defined by self-fulfillment (meaning being pleased with myself for the choices I have made). In our world we are taught to ask, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” and mean by it, “What do I want to do when I grow up?” But the more proper question for a Christian is, “What kind of person do I want to be when I grow up?” and, “How is that possible?” (Father Stephen Freeman)


#FrPhilipLeMasters #RobinPhillips #JamesSmith #CSLewis #FatherStephenFreeman


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