The power of the human will
In Christian morality, two are different human abilities: reason and will. Greek philosophy spoke almost exclusively about the ability to know. Wanting how imagined follows almost automatically. On the other hand, Christians are all too aware that man sins consciously and voluntarily; he knows the good, and he does it anyway, something else. Why? However, it is not possible to explain this secret easily. We know well that the greatness and the glory or destruction of man are in his own will. How God created the world is free, so man is free to make his existence.
The famous sermon of St. John Chrysostom has the title: «Nobody
he alone cannot harm a person. ” Ascetic authors often repeat statements, such as “Nothing else needs me to be blissful but to want.” How about that are the Church’s opposite statements against the Pelagians related? According to st. Augustine has nothing but man’s sin. Without God’s help, we would not be able to do anything good or think, let alone do. Both statements, although so contradictory, are
they belong to each other. The Pelagians denied the necessity of God’s deceit. Without that, however, one cannot do anything. St. John Chrysostom, on the contrary, speaks of a Christian who receives the grace of God to be saved. So I want to. Christian authors do not mean “strong will,” which is talked about in psychological and pedagogical
books. People who have achieved the power of will are glorified by their outstanding life achievements, overcame their innate shortcomings and mistakes, and became what they seemed to have no
talents. However, Christian asceticism looks with sympathy to strengthen the will and create solid nature and genuine human personality.
However, it must not be forgotten that this is not the goal in itself, that many will not succeed, so that in the end, it is not enough “just to want.” Against one’s will, one suffers from natural deficiencies, diseases, and the influence of the environment. For his readers, “strong will” was not enough for them to escape the passion. However, God’s help depended on their will that their persecution was not to perish, but to gain greater happiness and holiness. Only in this sense is it true that nothing external can harm us. If we want, we can use everything for good, both failures, and human weaknesses. And what about working for God, progressing in virtues? Is it enough to want here too? Indeed, each of us received from God his vocation and his role. He has to draw a concrete image of perfection. It’s enough to make it happen to want. I can do everything that strengthens me (Flp
4, 13). But it must be God’s true calling, not illusion and delusion. Otherwise, it would be a “futile human act.”
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