December 17, 2006

to will one thing.

“Most of us are like Mother Teresa in that we want to will G and the poor. The problem is we want to will everything else as well. We want to be a saint, but we also want to feel every sensation experienced by sinners; we want have a simple lifestyle, but we also want all the comforts of the rich; we want to have the depth afforded by solitude, but we do not want to miss anything. Small wonder life is often a trying enterprise and we are often tired and pathologically overextended. Medieval philosophy had a dictum that said: Every choice is a renunciation. Indeed. To choose one thing is to turn one's back on many others. To marry one person is to not marry all the others; to have a baby means to give up certain things; and to pray may mean missing television. No wonder we struggle so much with commitment. It is not that we do not want certain things, it is just that we know that if we choose them we close off so many other things. It is not easy to will the one thing.”
-From the book "Holy Longing" (borrowed from Mikayla)

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