Choose a topic from Part 2A:

12. Intention

1. Intention is an elicited act of the will, by which the will purposes to go after an object.

2. Thus intention is the determining of an end; it is the setting up of a choice. The end intended may be the object of immediate choice, or it may be something that is to be attained by the use of means; effective intention must take in necessary means as well as the end which is to be attained by them. A means to an end is itself an end until it is attained.

3. Intention can therefore be directed to one object in itself directly, or as the goal of a series of means. And an intention may be singular, having only one thing in view, or it may be plural, having several non conflicting things in view. Thus a man may, in giving alms, intend simply to relieve poverty. Or he may have several intentions in his almsgiving: to relieve the poor; to practice self-denial; to do penance; to please God; to show good example; to win grace for his soul.

4. There is a difference between the will-acts of wish and intention. A man may wish for something without intending to make use of means to achieve it. Thus a man who is much overweight may wish to be thinner without intending to endure the hardship of a reducing diet.

5. Man alone, among earthly creatures, can form a true intention. Animals, plants, and minerals, and man in his bodily being, act with "the intention of nature," whether the activity be exercised with or without sentient knowledge. Intention in its true meaning is a free will-act, and belongs only to a being of the rational rder.

"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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