WHAT IS USEFUL
First, we have seen what is
virtuous and seemly. Now let us see what is useful in acquiring holiness. In
Scriptures, what is virtuous is also useful: "All things are lawful
unto me, but all things are not profitable (i.e. useful)."
Man sins; this is not virtuous
nor seemly. To live in sin is easy but it is not right. What is useful is
also just. And it is both useful and just to serve Christ and to give up
oneself, even unto death to serve Him. To avoid death, therefore, is unjust.
We must choose the useful that is full of virtues, for what is virtuous is
useful and what is useful is virtuous. Also, what is useful is just and what
is just is useful.
People wrongly equate useful
to whatever smacks of material profit in the pursuit of money. But true
usefulness contains precisely the element of losing earthly possessions
"that we may gain Christ." Useful is that which leads us to
Godliness with contentment.
There is a usefulness
connected with the body and one directed with the soul "Bodily
exercises profiteth little, but Godliness is profitable unto all
things." What is useful? Integrity, to preserve one's body unspotted
and undefiled, that a widow remain as she is, that one attains holiness and
the salvation of one's soul.
St. Ambrose: Christian
Priesthood, Book II, Chapter 6