From the Bulletin of Sept 26 - St. Boniface Catholic Church - Evansville, IL
In his work, Taking Ourselves Seriously & Getting It Right, Harry Frankfurt, of Princeton University explores the importance of what we care about.  Frankfurt investigates the roles of reason and love in our lives.  Frankfurt points out that even if our thinking tells us we should care about something, it does not mean we actually care about it.  Something may be valuable, but not valuable to us; something may not be valuable in the eyes of others, but it has intrinsic worth to us.  For instance, a drawing from your child or grandchild may be garbage in the eyes of others, but it is valuable to you.

After Frankfurt critiques Kant’s moral thinking, Frankfurt says, “What a person really needs to know, in order to know how to live, is what to care about and to measure the relative importance to him of the various things about which he cares.  These are the deepest, as well as the most immediate, normative concerns of our active lives.  To the extent to which we succeed in resolving them, we are able to identify and to order our goals…  It is our understanding of what to care about, then, that is the ultimate touchstone and basis of our practical reasoning” (pg 28).

This may seem rather abstract, but I think Frankfurt reminds us of something important.  We care about many things, but we must live for something.  This something that we live for transcends our ability to reason about it, because love is stronger than reason, and love itself makes reasons for why something is valuable.  At the end of the day, is what we live for God’s will?  If not, then we still have a long way to go and we must depend on God’s mercy to carry us through.

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