Tag Archives: self-denial

The ethics of Paradise.

From a church bulletin:

THE ETHICS OF PARADISE

“…In the age before Constantine, Christians were able to be the salt of the earth without losing their flavor. They lived in close-knit community with one another without closing themselves off from their neighbors. Theirs was truly a way of life, not merely a religion. Their experience of God was metaphysical and meta-political. It was rooted in the ineffable revelation of the infinite, transcendent God Who kenotically [self- emptying of Jesus] irrupted into His orderly creation in order to cast out chaos and perfect human nature. He descended so that mankind, in Him, may ascend. We must recapture this orientation. Every thought must be taken captive to obey Christ (2 Cor 2:5).

“Becoming his disciple is ever a radical choice in a world filled with egotism, for faith propels us toward the other as we discover a universe in the soul of each person. In self-denial, we open ourselves up to eternity. Indeed, we only discover life once we are willing to lose it. In community we discover the love of the Father.

“It is for this reason that the Gospel cannot be reconciled with society and its false ideals of pride and power, comfort and pleasure. All of reality must be conformed to—or rather transformed by—the ethics of Paradise. Christianity is not a religion of self-actualization, nor a system of political and socioeconomic standards. It does not exist to affirm and fulfill our personal dreams or desires. Christ has come to save us from ourselves.”

—Father Joseph Lucas