Being Taught By God
Do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines.
At the heart of the word discipline is the verb to teach. Real discipline is to be taught be God. While it may seem similar to punishment, there is a critical difference. To be disciplined is to be taught. To be punished is to hurt.
I can punish someone if I am bigger, stronger or more powerful. I can discipline someone if I have more respect. To discipline, it must be the case that we are being guided toward some great virtue. I may be punished for lying if my mom or dad is bigger than I am, or more powerful. But I can be disciplined by them when I am being taught the important virtue of honesty.
A virtue is always a good thing directed to a proper end. So to be taught be God, to be disciplined, what must be clear is the proper end to this discipline. Discipline is about proper training, since very talented people are aware of the need to sacrifice, and yes, even suffer, but always with a view to the purpose for all this suffering. Saint Paul reminds us of this when he discusses runners at a race who compete for a perishable crown.
To be taught means specifically to be guided to our proper end. And for the Lord’s discipline, this proper end is about our salvation, our total and complete fulfillment in the Beatific Vision. But for our eyes to see clearly, it is the case we must learn the ways of God, and to see all our good actions directed toward him.
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