Edward Vacek (Spirituality and Moral Theology: Essays from a Pastoral Perspective, 102) argues that gratitude depends on right self-love: “Gratitude is . . . difficult where there is little sense of self. That may occur in cultures that are highly communal and highly structured. Even in our individualist culture, however, there are many who lack a lively self-love. When we do not love ourselves, we can observe the gift given; we can receive it; and we may even make an intellectual judgment that the gift is good for ourselves. Nevertheless, without self-love we cannot be grateful, because gratitude includes emotionally affirming and being glad about our self that has been benefited. Indeed, the deeper the self-love, the deeper the possibility of gratitude. We Christians are sometimes exhorted to forget ourselves and be selfless, but we cannot do this and be grateful.”
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 5:58 am
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