Sixth fruit: Goodness
Summer fruits are unique and a delight to our senses. Take a peach, and hold it in your hand. Marvel at the soft fuzziness of its skin; inhale the aroma and admire the watercolor hues of orange, red, yellow and cream–the colors and smells of “peach.”
Cut into its skin and watch the fresh nectar spurt and sprinkle your fingers. Bite into the fruit’s luscious flesh, enjoy the sticky sweet juice as it runs down your chin. Taste the unmistakable yet indescribable “peach-ness.” Let all your senses experience the uniqueness of something that is so different from you. Savor the “goodness” of this one and only peach.
In the identity of each created thing or person is an inherent “goodness” that cannot be replicated. John Duns Scotus, Franciscan philosopher and theologian of the 13th-14th century would call it haecceitas or “this-ness,” 1 meaning that God created this particular peach, and that particular peach; this particular blade of grass and that particular blade of grass; this particular person and that particular person. Within each created being resides an indescribable Source of Being.
When we see each created thing rather than everything, we begin to perceive the inherent goodness of God.
Francis of Assisi spoke of God as “…all good, supreme good, totally good, You Who alone are good…” 2 The “this-ness” of God is wholly Good.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good.” [Psalm 34:8] 3
1 Ingham, Mary Beth, Scotus For Dunces: An Introduction to the Subtle Doctor. The Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, NY, Copyright ©2003, p. 54
2 Francis of Assisi: Early Documents vol. 1–The Saint. Editors–Regis Armstrong, OFM Cap, Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv. and William Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, copyright ©1999, Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, NY, p. 162
3 Scripture: New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved
Sr. Sharon of Jesus, osc