Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Daily Dose of Discernment: 2/13/08

Let it never be forgotten that a hypocrite is a very unhappy man; he is a man who has devoted himself to a most delicate and arduous intellectual art in which he may achieve masterpieces which he must keep secret, fight thrilling battles and win hair-breadth victories for which he cannot have a whisper of praise. A really accomplished impostor is the most wretched of geniuses: he is a Napoleon on a desert island.
-- G. K. Chesterton, Browning

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In God's plan the poor serve the advantage of the rich, for the rich are saved by the poor when no other door to salvation is open to them. The rich do not fast, they do not toil, they are not persecuted, they do not endure harsh conditions, and they do not pray, being ensnared by their interests. The Lord therefore takes thought: What else is there? What is left for you? Give alms, and, behold, everything is clean for you; and the wise man says: The rich and the poor have met; the Lord is Creator of them both. He created the rich for the sake of the poor, and the poor for the sake of the rich. To the rich he has given riches that they might feed the poor, and for this reason too he often multiplies and increases their wealth. To the poor he has given neediness, sores, and hardships, that they might move the hearts of the rich and so the rich might be saved.

Love the poor, therefore, you who are rich, for they are your brothers and sisters, your redeemers, your helpers, since theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Give what is temporal that you may receive what is eternal.
-- Thomas of Villanova, O.S.A., Sixth Sermon after Pentecost 5-6: Opera Omnia III, 119.

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