Saturday, December 26, 2015

Virtue stands in the middle

In a recent diocesan bulletin, a college professor, remembers dreaming  of being a writer, and remembers reading with great  pleasure the poem: Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost.

What grabbed his attention was the title.  As a child during the cold winter with his stomach on the heated floor with no desire to go outside he could see himself at the edge of the woods, moved by the reading.

Both the title and contents made a deep impression on the child. Riding the small horse the traveler stopped before the wooded area captivated by the scene before him. The trip had miles to go, but it was like seeing the last scene of a movie.

Strangely, the professor was fascinated with the mention of the owner of the wooded area. He would know about all the trees, location, how large the property, etc., but would he know what  period of the year the wooded area has its  greatest beauty? The difference between seeing the woods in the morning or evening?  Does he know how charming the paths are in the wooded area? Without  this knowledge, can he say the woods are mine?

We are not able to possess completely what we own, just a part, but we think we are the owners. Living in the village and thinking that the wooded area was his, is false. He concludes his meditation by asking his readers did not Jesus come into the world to shows us how unreal it is to make something mine?

Dealing with the natural virtues the wisdom of the ages has proclaimed, "Virtue stands in the middle."  Use of what we call ours should have an understanding of this wisdom, which we call detachment: a much healthier approach to what we believe we possess, both materially and spiritually.

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