Faith hope and love

Faith_Hope_and_Charity_001I have pondered a little over the ethical frame of the synod. Having made the idea, with certain motives as to why we should move on making the family the vehicle of joy and rejuvenation, we still lack a serious framework to work with. With respect to all the ideas out there.

I have read a bit in the platonic dialogue Meno. Partly because it is pretty simple, and partly because it targets the discussion of virtue. That is what virtue is, and how we may use virtue as a guiding light.

First of all, as always when we read Plato, we are struck by the simpleness and humility of Socrates. He is never full of himself, and always just inquiring into the mysteries of the universe. We should remember this, I think. Not to be full of ourselves and have all the answers at the ready. But still remember the humility of the inquirer. Be open to new avenues of thought, and not be arrogant.

The second thing that struck me with the dialogue is the fact that Socrates tells us, that there is virtue connected to different phases of life, and gender. What is courageous of a woman is not necessarily courageous of a man or a child. While as the mother is the housekeeper and keeper of the economy, the man must protect the families interest. Sometimes it is different. In other words, we should have an eye out for the fact, that some virtues are more suited to some phases of life, other to other phases of life. What is however important is the fact, that these virtues should lead to a better life, not a worse life.

Tolstoy tells us, that all happy families are alike, and all unhappy families are different. To this truth is connected a utopian quest. If there is such a blueprint of the happy family, it must be possible to actually find it. Instead of only philosophizing about it, we could actually find empirical data, find some good families, see how they work, and try to understand why they work.

Kierkegaard talks about heritage sin. That is, you inherit the sins of your father. If your father was a thief, there is a good chance you will end up a thief yourself. This evil circle is something the church must work with. It will not happen overnight, but there are a lot of families in the poor area, who are in need of guidance and help. Sometimes education will help, sometimes just the eucharist will be enough. But shepherds should get out of the comfort-zone and visit there where no one else would visit, to care for those in need. Among the thieves and the crooked lies the most difficult task. In this area the faith of the father is truly tested. I know, I am in one of those jobs here in Denmark. But we need, in this situation, to have faith, and remain ethical, never abandon our cause.

It all comes down to a single virtue, or a collective virtue as Aristotle say. He say that this single virtue, the virtue of the virtues is joy and happiness. I believe, that Plato has a point in the fact, that justice is a part of this virtue. You cannot be happy if you live in sin. But most important is the fact, that in order to have hope, you need faith, faith in love and thereby G-d.

G-d bless the seeker for truth.

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