No One Can Do Anything Genuinely Good on His or Her Own (Continued)

There are good works that are civic, good works that are moral, and good works that are spiritual. Good works that are civic are things we do because of civic law. To the extent that we practice civic goodness, we are citizens of this earthly world. Good works that are moral are things we do because of rational law. To the extent that we practice moral goodness, we are human. Good works that are spiritual are things we do because of spiritual law. To the extent that we practice spiritual goodness, we are citizens of the spiritual world.

These types of goodness follow in this sequence: spiritual goodness is highest, moral goodness is intermediate, and civic goodness is lowest.

If we have spiritual goodness we are moral and civic individuals as well; but if we do not have spiritual goodness we may seem to be moral and civic individuals but in fact we are not.

The reason we are moral and civic if we have spiritual goodness is that spiritual goodness contains within itself the essence of what is good and is the source of moral and civic goodness. The only possible source of the real essence of goodness is the one who is goodness itself. Cast the net of your thinking as wide as you will, concentrate, and ask what makes good good, and you will see that it is its essence; a good deed is good if it has the essence of goodness within it. This means that a deed is good if it originates in goodness itself—in God. So if some good deed originates not in God but in ourselves, it is not good.

from Life/Faith, Sections 12, 13

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