Spiritual Good Defined

March 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Charity, or spiritual good, consists in doing good because it is truth; that is, it is to do truth. And to do truth is to do those things which the Lord has commanded in His Word. It is evident, therefore, that charity is spiritual good. And when a man does good because it is truth, or does truth, then charity becomes moral good, which, in the external form, is like the good that is done at this day with every man who is a moral and civil man. But there is this difference, that genuine moral good is good from the spiritual good from which it proceeds. For spiritual good is from the Lord, but moral good is from man. Therefore, unless the good from man is from the Lord, that is, through man from the Lord, it is not good. The end for the sake of which [a thing is done], declares its quality. Moral good separated from spiritual good, regards man, his honor, profit, and pleasure, as the end for which it is done. But moral good from spiritual good has regard to the Lord, heaven, and eternal life, as the end. (AE 918.2)


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