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Practical Test for Integrity. ”If your goal is not determined by your most secret pathos, even victory will only make you painfully aware of your own weakness.” Dag Hammarskjold, U.N. Secretary General, 1953-61. The Heart of Christian Integrity.

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practical test for integrity
Practical Test for Integrity
  • ”If your goal is not determined by your most secret pathos, even victory will only make you painfully aware of your own weakness.”

Dag Hammarskjold,

U.N. Secretary General, 1953-61

the heart of christian integrity
The Heart of Christian Integrity

Christian Tradition reframes the basic spiritual and moral question:

“What should I live for and how ?”

as a question of imagination, reason, and ultimate love:

“What or Who actually moves you in the most ultimate way? Who is your God?

3

integrity oed
Integrity (OED)

[Latin integer: whole; as in a whole number or integer.]

  • complete
  • unimpaired
  • virtuous moral character; uprightness

What do all three definitions share?

integrity defined
Integrity Defined

Integrity is the condition of being fully integrated, pulled together, or unified.

Integrity is the state of wholeness.

7 resources for christian integrity
7 Resources for Christian Integrity
  • Fall completely in love
  • Learn from the integrity of the Trinity
  • Allow the Body of Christ to complete you
  • Identify with the story of Jesus
  • Develop your moral imagination
  • Practice habits of heart that bring the fullness of life
  • Exercise spiritually
1 fall completely in love
1. Fall Completely in Love
  • “When you fall in love it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then it subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so intertwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. This is what love is.”

Corelli’s Mandolin

the ultimate source of integrity
The Ultimate Source of Integrity
  • Christian tradition: God is the most complete, uncorrupted, and virtuous being.

Who is God?

  • Nicene Creed: God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit united together in a perfect community of love.
we find our integrity in the body of christ
We Find Our Integrity in the Body of Christ
  • Ephesians 4 tells us that we are not complete on our own. We participate in the fullness of life (found in the Trinity) only by sharing and receiving the diverse gifts that Christ gives to his body.
  • Catholic view: we are saved in community, i.e., by our participation in the inextricably communal body of Christ.
4 identify with the story of jesus
4.Identify with the story of Jesus

Archbishop Oscar Romero

slide12

Storied Integrity

Mature or Integrated Christian identity avoids both

identity diffusion--lack of conviction and focus; inability to initiate projects or sustain commitments

B) premature foreclosure of identity--jumps into a “ready-made” identity, inability to manage uncertainty.

Mature identity requires continual growth through exploring

different roles on the way toward ever deeper commitment.

storied identity
Storied Identity

Humans need a sense of identity that is:

  • dynamic(ongoing),
  • dramatic (plot driven), and
  • unified(unifies diverse experiences into a meaningful and comprehensive whole)

For Christians the story of Jesus unifies the story of God

across the Old and New Testaments and provides the

most authentically dynamic, dramatic, comprehensive,

and unified source of Christian identity. This story

continues today.

5

story as our window to world
Story as Our Window to World

Imagine or see the world through the integrating lens of the story of Jesus and find a creative way to remain true to the story.

Look to saints and role models for examples.

what are the patterns of your doing and being
What are the Patterns of Your Doing and Being?

Our moral character is formed by the patterns of our freedom. Like the waters that helped to form the Grand Canyon, each act we perform cuts a groove into our character. When we repeat actions, we increase the tendency that our freedom, like a stream grown into a river, will flow down the well-worn path.

virtues the building blocks of integrity
Virtues: the Building Blocks of Integrity
  • Virtues: dispositions that result from good habits.
  • Becoming virtuous (the state of integrity) requires practice of the virtues. Christian virtues flow from identification with Jesus’ story.
  • The love of Jesus defines the Christian virtue of Charity : “Love one another as I have loved you.”
spiritual practices
Spiritual Practices
  • Spiritual practices school our imagination, form our habits of heart, and open us to continual sanctification.
  • In the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius you might imaginatively participate in a Scripture passage. You are Zacchaeus. What do you feel when Jesus calls to you a tax collector?
conclusion integrity as a journey
Conclusion: Integrity as a Journey

Paraphrase of Dag Hammarskjold:

We find integrity by “casting anchor in the experience of the mystery of life” until we plumb its depths and encounter and then live from the source of all integrity Who calls us by name. We respond to our call.

7 resources for christian integrity23
7 Resources for Christian Integrity
  • Fall completely in love
  • Learn from the integrity of the Trinity
  • Allow the Body of Christ to complete you
  • Identify with the story of Jesus
  • Develop your moral imagination
  • Practice habits of heart that bring the fullness of life
  • Exercise spiritually