Let’s continue from my last post. So, those with Faith have accepted God, and those with Hope are traveling the road necessary for eternal happiness. Both Faith and Hope are theological virtues attained only but by the grace of God.
But there is one final grace that is necessary for eternal happiness: the theological virtue of Charity. Charity is the love of God. Charity resides in the will. It is the theological corollary of the cardinal virtue of Justice exhibited by the adventurer returning to the everyday world with the gift for the flourishing of one’s family and community. It is with the presentation of this gift that the adventurer achieves “happiness on earth.”
For those who have survived the adventure and have presented the gift for the flourishing of society, the cardinal virtues of Wisdom, Courage, and Temperance melt away and only Justice (concern for the welfare of others) remains. The adventure is complete and the three melting virtues fall away because Justice has been reached: that is, only Justice abides. The adventurer is now released from all personal ambitions, limitations, and desires. The striving is over. Integration with universal values is complete.
Similarly, once the grace of Charity is received, then the two other theological virtues melt away and only Charity abides. Faith and Hope are no longer needed for the love of God has been attained. No more fears, no more striving, eternal happiness in the next life is most likely assured.
Those that have the grace of Charity within them have as their focus to serve God. They worship Him in church services and in their prayers. They follow the Ten Commandments handed down by Moses. They help their families, neighbors, and are kind to others. They donate to worthy causes and contribute their time to helping others in need. In other words, they follow with enthusiasm the second great commandment – love of neighbor. In essence, they assist others with the preparation for the adventure (what I call the Journey). The journey is the nurturing, education, work, and social activities of life necessary to attain the cardinal virtues required for the adventure.
So, we now have the intersection of the road to happiness in this life with the road to happiness in the next life. It is at this intersection that we witness the returning adventurer who not only has no further needs or desires, and has a unity with universal values, but is able to pass between the spiritual and the everyday worlds.
Perhaps it is the adventure that allows each of us to satisfy both of god’s great commandments. The successful adventure delivers happiness in this life. In addition, the gift presented to others by the returning adventurer satisfies God’s great second commandment – love of neighbor. It is the love of neighbor that allows those who have received the gifts of Faith and Hope to be open to the virtue of Charity. It is the virtue of Charity that satisfies God’s first commandment – love of God.
More to come!