We have to make sure that everything we do is done for God’s glory. We have to be most careful of our tendency to do some good things that are meant in the end to glorify ourselves, rather than to always give glory to God.
We are reminded of this danger when Christ said, “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.” (Mt 6,1)
And he continued by saying, “When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.” (6,2)
As we can see, the intention of our human acts plays a crucial role. With it, we can determine whether we are truly good and moral, or are simply playing around, playing the game of hypocrisy, appearing righteous when we truly are not.
We know that with our intention, we can direct our acts to God, following what was once indicated by St. Paul, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10,31) That’s how our acts become good, or moral. Otherwise, they are bad, or at least dangerous.
This is so, since God, being the Creator, is the standard for everything. And more than the standard, he is, in fact, the very substance of what is good, true and beautiful, what is fair and just, what is perfection itself.
Nothing is good, true and beautiful, nothing is fair and just, nothing is perfect if it is not done with God and for God. In short, we need to refer all our acts to God. We have to make this affirmation very clear in our mind and do everything to make that ideal a reality.
And so, a lot depends on our intention, because our intention is the very expression of who and where in the end we want to be. Do we choose God, or do we simply choose ourselves, or the world, in general? It’s actually a choice between good and evil.
We need to realize then that we have to take utmost care of our intention, making it as explicit as possible, and honing it to get engaged with its proper and ultimate object who is God.
We should try our best to shun being simply casual or cavalier about this responsibility. We can easily play around with it, since intentions are almost invariably hidden from public knowledge. We are urged to be most sincere in directing our intentions properly.
We can easily fall into hypocrisy and deception, doing what can appear good externally but is not internally, since we could refuse giving glory to God, which is the proper intention to have, and instead feed and stir our vanity, pride, greed, lust, etc.
We need to actively purify our intentions, since we have to contend with many spoilers in this regard these days. In fact, we just have to look around and see how openly opposed many people are of directing their intentions to God.
To them, intentions are strictly personal and confidential matters that others do not have any right to meddle. While there is a certain truth to this claim, we have to remind ourselves that our intentions too are subject to a universal moral law.*