Seal of Approval
The following books have been awarded the Seal of Approval for the 4th quarter of 2023:
- Joseph: Little Saint Stories by Cassie Herrington
- Helmet of Salvation by Theresa Linden
- Deception in December by Doreen McAvoy
- Saint Therese: The Sleeping Saint by Maria Riley
- A Home for Jesus in My Heart by Kristina Schoettle
- Wild Life by Corinna Turner
- Bonvida's Quest for Light by C.D. Smith
- In the Beginning by Stephen G. Kenny
From Our Blog
- There Are No Ordinary People
There’s an old saying: Ubi amor, ibi oculus—where love is, there is the eye. Love helps us see. Love helps us see the good in others, especially when that goodness is not so easy to see at first. Love helps us find, and approve of, the goodness in other people. Seeing that goodness is, in part, a matter of will—we have to want to find the goodness in other people. But seeing goodness in others is also a matter of developing a particular mindset, a particular attitude, toward other people.
What is our attitude toward other people? Are people basically good, or basically bad? Do all people have intrinsic value and dignity, or are they only valuable if they are in some way useful to us—to the extent that they serve our purposes or needs, approve of us, agree with us on important issues, etc.? Being able to find, and to continue to see, the good in other people may require that we begin to think about people (all people) differently than we have in the past. It may require that we adopt a new attitude toward people. What kind of attitude? God’s attitude. And what is God’s attitude toward people? That people are very good (Genesis 1:31). God’s proclamation that the first human beings were very good was, in part, God’s way of saying “How good that you exist!” And God says that about each of us. Every one of us. Or else we wouldn’t exist. It is God’s love which created us, and it is God’s love which sustains us in existence. All of us—even that person we find to be so cantankerous, so petty, so annoying, etc. If God can exclaim about every person he created, “How good that you exist!”, we should be able to find a way to do that, too.
God proclaims human beings to be very good because he made us imago Dei, in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). God made us like himself in our ability to think and reason, but he also made us like himself in our ability to love. Everything that God created is good because it shares in God’s being, the being of the Infinite Good. But human beings are very good because we share in God’s capacity to love. Every single human being has intrinsic value and dignity because God loves them. Every single human being has intrinsic value and dignity because they were made imago Dei. Every single human being has intrinsic value and dignity because they were created to be a child of God. Every single human being has intrinsic value and dignity because Jesus died and rose for them so that they could share in, and contribute to, the eternal circulation of love that constitutes the divine life. Keeping these truths in mind will make it much more possible for us to find and approve of the good in other people.
Admittedly, some people, although made imago Dei in their capacity to love, don’t seem to be exercising that capacity very much. But maybe part of our mission in this life is to help draw the capacity for love out of people who are like that, to draw the capacity for love out of that difficult person whom no one else seems to like very much, by first loving them. Loving them starts with finding some good in them, and finding some good in them starts with seeing them as being children of God. All of them. As C. S. Lewis put it, “There are no ordinary people.” We need to adopt that attitude toward every person who crosses our path in life.
* This article is based on an excerpt from Rick’s latest book, The Book of Love: Brief Meditations.
Copyright 2024 Rick Clements
The CWG Prayer
Holy Family, guide our minds, our hearts, our hands, as we write, speak, illustrate – help our words to live in union with the Word.
Teach us discipline and skill to use the talents God gives us.
Give us also insight and courage to convey God's love through our craft, and humility to be open to His divine will, shaping our lives, in loving loyalty to His Church.
In Christ's name,