In case you have ever wondered about the nature of evil in a world created by a perfect God, here is an excerpt from a book by Augustine of Hippo:
What is Called Evil in the Universe is But the Absence of Good.
And in the universe, even that which is called evil, when it is regulated and put in its own place, only enhances our admiration of the good; for we enjoy and value the good more when we compare it with the evil. For the Almighty God, who, as even the heathen acknowledge, has supreme power over all things, being Himself supremely good, would never permit the existence of anything evil among His works, if He were not so omnipotent and good that He can bring good even out of evil. For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good? In the bodies of animals, disease and wounds mean nothing but the absence of health; for when a cure is effected, that does not mean that the evils which were present—namely, the diseases and wounds—go away from the body and dwell elsewhere: they altogether cease to exist; for the wound or disease is not a substance, but a defect in the fleshly substance,—the flesh itself being a substance, and therefore something good, of which those evils—that is, privations of the good which we call health—are accidents. Just in the same way, what are called vices in the soul are nothing but privations of natural good. And when they are cured, they are not transferred elsewhere: when they cease to exist in the healthy soul, they cannot exist anywhere else.
Augustine. “What is Called Evil in the Universe is But the Absence of Good.”. Enchridion. Retrieved 2017-05-01 from https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf103.iv.ii.xiii.html.
Volunteer week is over for this year. Remember, however, that the need continues throughout the year.
Your life and assets have their greatest value when used for the benefit of others.
I like SPAM. Not many do. For all those unbelievers, here is an informative video.
I received a link to this video in an email today. Unfortunately, though somewhat hyperbolic, it does show what I think education and our society are coming to.
Thank you for your sacrifice.
Happy New Year, Everyone!
I truly hope that everyone has had a great year and that any events have been positive. If you are able to read this message, you have been blessed with the wherewithal to participate in a world of relative plenty.
In this new year, let’s all do our best to help someone else, to increase the quality of everyone’s life.
Please do good for someone else.
I turn sixty today.
I never would have thought I’d reach this point. It’s not something we think of a lot when we’re young. Nonetheless, I’m here.
Perhaps it’s time to wax philosophical. What have I achieved in 60 years? Have I done anything worthwhile? Who will determine that; can I or must that task be left to others? What, in fact, constitutes accomplishment?
My career has been a roller-coaster, sometimes successful and other times a shambles. In any event, we have always been provided with what we’ve needed. Is a career even that important, save for the opportunities it provides to serve others? When I’m gone, no one will remember how successful I’ve been corporately. They will remember me as husband, father, and friend. I’d like to think I’ve had some success there, with a long marriage (39 years and Carol still puts up with me), three magnificent children and two lovely grandchildren, and a small group of very dear friends (I also owe a great deal to their forbearance). I think I will leave the assessment of my success in these relationships to those others.
I remain thankful for the opportunities I’ve had and pray that I will be able to make the most of what I’m given. I hope I am able to serve others and add some good to the world.
In the meantime, I feel only somewhat, but not especially, old. The upside of this whole situation is that, every day, I am able to collect more and more discounts by virtue of my advancing years.
It’s January, 2013. It’s time once again to look at what is happening in our world – to do what we can to make it better. Look at the plight of those oppressed by violence around the world. Look at how our societies are becoming more and more unequal as the rich become richer, and the poor (who can barely afford to live now) become poorer. Executives make far too much for the value they add. Can we justify this inequality? I wonder how. I can also argue that wages in my country (Canada) have been driven too high. When everyone who is working makes too much money, what happens to those who cannot work?
There is a lot to think about. We still have a chance to fix things. Let’s do it.
Osama Bin Laden is dead.
It is great that such a man will no longer be able to terrorize the world. Perhaps killing him was the only valid solution. However, he and his like have already won to a great extent. The world, and particularly the U.S. live in continual fear. Many of the people of that country have been lowered to the point where they are able to cheer at the death of another human being.
Is it right that we should experience pleasure at the death of someone else, even someone as vile as Osama Bin Laden? As I said before, perhaps his death was necessary; perhaps it was merely unavoidable. However, should we not view that as a very unfortunate and undesirable consequence of a process to produce a desirable outcome?
It is important that we fight evil wherever we may find it. It may even be necessary to take lives in the process; of that I am unsure. However, when we begin to take pleasure in those deaths, we must stop to realise that, at that point, we are every bit as evil as those who have been defeated.