Gilbert Meilaender on duty and desire

Our desire to live the “happy” life – which is ultimately the desire for God – may sometimes seem to conflict with our duties. It may appear that doing what is right is more likely to frustrate our desires than to bring them to fruition and fulfillment. This means that within human history we are unlikely to unify the moral life – unlikely to make the duties that obligate us cohere entirely with the goods for which we hope. Life is marked, therefore, by brokenness and incompleteness. […] Here and now we suffer the loss of good things and people whom we quite rightly love. Here and now, therefore, we ought to experience grief, loss, and brokenness. […] It would be presumption to imagine that we could attain the happiness we desire in this life. We may see the goal for which we yearn, but we must also confess that we cannot hold firmly to the way that leads there.

From The Way that Leads There, (Eerdmans, 2006), 143, 152.

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