Thursday, February 28, 2008

Daily Dose of Discernment: 2/28/08

The wise man will follow a star, low and large and fierce in the heavens, but the nearer he comes to it the smaller and smaller it will grow, till he finds it the humble lantern over some little inn or stable. Not till we know the high things shall we know how lovely they are.
-- G. K. Chesterton, William Blake



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Make light of the world and of yourself and of all earthly pleasures. Hold your kingdom as something lent to you, not as if it were your own. For you know well that life, health, wealth, honor, status, dominion—none of these belongs to you. If they did, you could own them in your own way. But just when we want to be healthy we are sick; just when we want to be alive we die; just when we want to be rich we are poor; just when we want to be in power we are made servants. And all this because these things are not ours, and we can keep them only as much and as long as it pleases the One who has lent them to us. So it is really foolish to hold as if it were our own what belongs to another: it is, in fact, a thievery worthy of death. This is why I am asking you to act wisely, as a good steward, holding everything as lent to you who have been made God's steward.
Catherine of Siena, "Letter 78," from The Letters of St. Catherine of Siena, Suzanne Noffke, O.P., volume 1, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1988, 238

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