DO THINGS FOR LOVE OF GOD AND HIS GLORY.
The importance of having the right intention.
Do I seek to have the right intention in carrying out good deeds? Do I realise good things for love of God, His Glory, and the service of souls; or, do I perform them to stand out, to be praised: in the end, for myself, my own glory, my pride and vanity, greed etc.?
Having the right intention is important if an action has to be morally good. Let us remind ourselves of the three requirements for an action to be morally good.
The three requirements for an action to be morally good.
The Compendium of the Catechism nos 367-368. provides us a quick summary :
367: The morality of human acts depends on three sources: the object chosen, either a true or apparent good; the intention of the subject who acts, that is, the purpose [or end] for which the subject performs the act; and the circumstances of the act, which include its consequences.
368: An act is morally good when it assumes simultaneously the goodness of the object, of the end, and of the circumstances. A chosen object can by itself vitiate an act in its entirety, even if the intention is good. It is not licit to do evil so that good may result from it. An evil end [or intention of the person who acts] corrupts the action, even if the object is good in itself. On the other hand, a good end does not make an act good if the object of that act is evil, since the end does not justify the means. Circumstances can increase or diminish the responsibility of the one who is acting but they cannot change the moral quality of the acts themselves. They never make good an act which is in itself evil.
A wrong intention corrupts an action with a good object.
With these reminders, we see the importance of having the right intention or end everytime we carry out a good deed, for when we carry out something good with a wrong intention, for example, giving alms not only to help but also to be seen, to be praised, to be the most generous donor, then, our action becomes morally vitiated. Our Lord Himself reminded us in Matthew 6:1-4
“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The need to frequently rectify and purify one’s intentions.
It is not unusual that even though one has the right intention at the start of performing a good deed, simultaneous evil intentions of pride, vanity, etc., tend to creep in. This has always been the surreptitious way which the devil frequently utilizes to make us seek ourselves than to please God and serve others.
One must not worry as long as one strives to rectify and purify his or her intention with just a simple prayer: “Lord, this is for you: for your honor and glory, and for the good of souls.” As long as one struggles to rectify his or her intention, its purity is preserved.
Let us ask the help of Our Lady – Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy Word- so that in all that we do and in all that we desire, the intention to please, serve, and make God happy, seeking solely His honor and glory always prevail. God bless! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
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