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Friday, 14 November 2014

Choices and Character

Those who did not read this post may want to before reading this one.

I have just watched for the umteenth time the first series of By The Sword Divided, shown from 1983-1985. The first series in available on YouTube and both are available on disc.

If you know nothing about the English Civil War, 1642–1651, this TV series is a decent introduction and pro-monarchist.

One of the most obvious perspectives in the drama must be the choices members of the Lacey family make, causing division, which leads not only to the break-up of the family, but to death and destruction.

Now, despite the wooley-headed views of sex in the drama, which most likely does reveal many of the mind-sets of the time, the family members make moral choices for various reasons. Some of these reasons are rooted in the Ten Commandments, and loyalty to the King, but some are based on family loyalties and on personal attachments as well.

For the discerning viewer, these choices can be judged according to motivation and intention. A message for all of us is that we need to purify motivations and intentions even in fighting a good cause.

Intentions and motivations make or break the saint. Doing good charitable works for praise and glory, obviously, are not the motivations of a saint, who does good works out of love for God and neighbor.

The television series does show people who are genuinely religious, genuinely religious but deluded, genuinely religious and yet deceiving others, and those who are using religion in order to gain and maintain power.

We all must ask ourselves at some point in our spiritual reflections as to what the motivations are for our pursuing perfection.

As one character states in the series, in the end, it all comes down to love, or hate.