The Delight of doing Good without a Recompense

The Delight of doing Good without a Recompense

Very few at this day know that there is heavenly happiness in doing good without a view to recompense. For men do not know that there is any other happiness than to be advanced to honours, to be served by others, to abound in wealth, and to live in pleasures. They are profoundly ignorant of the fact that above these there is a happiness which affects the interiors of a man; that is, that there is a heavenly happiness, and that this happiness is the happiness of genuine charity. Inquire of the wise at this day, whether they know that this is heavenly happiness. It is on this account indeed that many reject good works, believing that they cannot be done by any one without a view to merit by them. For they do not know that those who are led of the Lord desire nothing more than to do good works; and that they think of nothing less than of merit by them. For this is of the new will which is given by the Lord to those who are regenerated. That will is indeed the Lord’s in man. (AC n. 6392)

Those who are in genuine mutual love in heaven are in such joy and happiness when they perform uses and do good to others, that they seem to themselves then first to be in heaven. This is given them by the Lord, to each according to the use. But this happiness vanishes as soon as they think of recompense; for the thought of recompense while yet they are in the recompense itself renders that love impure and perverts it. The reason is that then they think of themselves and not of the neighbour; that is, that they may render themselves happy and not others, except so far as themselves. They thus convert love towards the neighbour into love towards themselves; and in so far as they do this joy and happiness from heaven cannot be communicated to them; for they concentrate the influx of what is happy from heaven in themselves, and do not transmit it to others; and are like objects which do not remit the rays of light, but absorb them. Objects which reflect the rays of light appear in light and glow; but those which absorb them are dark and do not glow at all. They therefore who are of this description are separated from angelic society, as those that have nothing in common with heaven. (ibid. n. 6388)

When an angel does good to any one lie also communicates to him his own good, satisfaction, and blessedness; and this with the feeling that he would give to the other everything, and retain nothing. When he is in such communication good flows into him with much greater satisfaction and blessedness than he gives, and this continually with increase. But as soon as a thought enters, that he will communicate his own to the intent that lie may maintain that influx of satisfaction and blessedness into himself, the influx is dissipated; and still more if there comes in any thought of recompense from him to whom he communicates his good. This it has been given to know from much experience. From this too it may be seen that in the least things [of heaven] the Lord is present. For the Lord is such that He wills to give Himself to all; and therefore satisfaction and blessedness are increased with those who are images and likenesses of Him. (ibid. n. 6478)

One thought on “The Delight of doing Good without a Recompense

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