Our days are not filled with things we like.

Today, I just want to share excerpts from Fr. Stephen Freeman’s article, Thanksgiving as Mystical Communion:

“In one form or another, we divide the world into light and dark. It might take the form, ‘I like this. I do not like that.’ What we find easy are the things we see as good and the things we like. If a day is filled with such things, we are likely to be happy…. Of course, our days are not filled with good things that we like.”

“The modern myth is bound up with the ‘better world,’ the notion that through proper management and applications of science and technology (and all of the so-called ‘sciences’), we can make the world a better place – meaning that we will be able to eliminate the negative and maximize our pleasure. Pleasure is equated with the good, while suffering is seen as inherently bad. Modernity seeks to turn the world into a candy store (without diabetes).”

“My continuing critique of modernity has nothing to do with technology, medicine, science, etc. None of those things are ‘modern’ in and of themselves. Modernity is a set of ideas, not a time in history. One of its most subtle bits of propaganda is to pass itself off as a historical period, and, even, as the inevitable outcome of everything that has gone before…. Modernity is propaganda parading as history.

“It is also ungrateful.”

“No doubt, Christians will continue in doing good. However, in spite of every modern mythology, the world will not be a ‘better’ place. Evil things will continue to happen (many of them done in the name of a better world). Modernity, however, cannot bear suffering, which is truly tragic in that suffering is an inevitable part of every life. The modern world’s absence of a meaningful narrative with regard to suffering – other than to eradicate it – perpetuates and cultivates a heart that is frequently unable to be grateful.”

“In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
-I Thessalonians 5:18

“Giving Thanks” by Horace Pippin

9 thoughts on “Our days are not filled with things we like.

    1. I saw that article, too, Linda, and had bookmarked it. Thank you for sharing it here where you are right, it reveals another facet of the reality of life. I’ve had these excerpts from Fr. Stephen’s article sitting in draft for a long time and finally realized I had nothing to add to them.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This was good to read. He ‘calls out’ Modernity for what it is. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.


  2. I have mixed feelings on this. I think I understand what he’s getting at. Suffering is not always a bad thing. Especially when it’s needed to turn us away from self-reliance to our Lord. However, Jesus spent much time and showed much compassion by relieving suffering. I especially loathe the suffering of children…much of it brought on by the adults in their lives. I will have to think more upon this. Thank you as always for helping me to think more deeply. ❤


    1. And Christians ought to be compassionate and do good works, too! I don’t think Fr. Stephen is suggesting passivity. But Jesus’s mission was not primarily to relieve earthly suffering, and his signs and miracles, though of course inseparable from his love, were primarily to demonstrate his divinity.

      Thank you for your comment, Silvana. I always appreciate your entering the discussion. ❤


  3. What an apt reading for today, filled with one “don’t want to do this anymore” with another. I love the point Silvana brought up about Jesus’ compassion. How many times He is described as such.


Leave a comment

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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.