WHAT DO WE INTEND ?
"The intention of the will unites the sight to the object, and it unites an image existing in the memory to the gaze of the soul thinking within itself". (Augustine 354 A.D.-430 A.D.). Like a potentially powerful jet engine coming to life, our intentions have a remarkable freedom to roam; to construct; to destruct. Even for someone serving life in prison, the near boundless possibilities to re-direct the mind; to even expand are all available. But to where? This does require us to look higher, because for someone who feels restrained, the physical and the psychological solutions, though each helpful in themselves, do not take us into total freedom. Thomas Aquinas said that we "are all restless beings, for as soon as temporal goods are possessed, they are despised and other goods desired." So obviously deep down in each of us, we KNOW that we have not found the answer to our dissatisfactions, even the most entrenched aetheist has a right to be puzzled about this. Aquinas says that it is the " imprint of divine light which leads us to reason". A little later Meister Eckhart (1260-1329 A.D.) took up the theme, when he said, "Each of us is a distant mirror of God". It is at these levels of the metaphysical, that we can begin to find the beginnings of solutions to our daily problems and grievances. At this point our intentions and consequent actions need to be reviewed; reflected upon with Reason and the Cardinal Virtues (Prudence; Fortitude; Temperance; Justice.) - Let us now look at part of a poem by the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, writing about suffering people: -
"O martyrs ! O great prisoners! Burying your murder in this marble hill! The Lamb shall soon stand, white as a shout against the sky: His feet shall soon strike rainbows from the rock. The cliffs give up their buried streams. Throw down the chains of your wrists, prisoners ! Drink and swim ! For the winds have carried your last sentences across Ukraine. Your poetry shall grow in distant places."
Thank you. Tom Baxter