Friday, May 23, 2008

Things to Be Thankful For

I'm inspired by this:

A reader emailed yesterday (and I didn't get a chance to blog it, but want to do so before I start my break):

Courtesy of NRO: A former speechwriter to Pres. Bush addressed Benedictine College last week. In that speech he laid out "three propositions that are easily forgotten and only painfully re-learned" and that are very much congruent with HMS ideals:

First, who you marry is far more important than what career you choose. Over the course of a life that has taken me across three continents, I have met many accomplished men and women. And I have always been astonished by the number who give more thought to choosing the job they may hold for a couple of years than to choosing the spouse to whom they will pledge – before God and their friends – to remain with until death they do part.

Second, no professional achievement – no matter how extraordinary – can match the thrill of seeing the absolute love and confidence reflected in the trusting eyes of a child who calls you Mom or Dad.

Finally, you will not find lasting happiness by pursuing it. Happiness is the byproduct of a contented life. And the surest path to a contented life is to put the needs of others before your own.

And my reader added in a follow-up:

Of course, right after hitting send I came across a link to the whole speech. It's good. And he has a nice expression in there after drawing the distinction between romance and simple physical intimacy: "And so those of us who speak fluent Audrey Hepburn find it difficult to communicate in a Sarah Jessica Parker world."

Yes, that is a very good speech. Thomist that I am, I might have put the point about happiness in a somewhat different way (for Thomas, following Aristotle, there is such a thing as the legitimate pursuit of happiness - happiness is our end - and it's something more than a "byproduct"). But I nonetheless agree with McGurn's point.
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via Heart, Mind & Strength

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