Seeing Vice

When we talk about receiving goodness, we’re talking about making God’s kind of love a habit, something that flows from our being as freely and swiftly as a river runs down a mountain. Habits are settled or regular tendencies of mind or body that happen automatically. The old writers tell us that when a habit nourishes love, it’s virtuous; and when it spoils love, it’s vicious or a vice. To begin cultivating virtue we need to see the vices inside us. We cannot fight, what we cannot see; and we cannot vanquish, what we do not meet. To see the reality of our perversion can be painful. But if we face it squarely, rejecting guilt and embracing grace, the seeing can offer us a holy trajectory, placing us on a fresh path—freedom bound.