Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Daily Dose of Discernment: 2/6/08

If you have composed a bad opera you may persuade yourself that it is a good one; if you have carved a bad statue you can think yourself better than Michelangelo. But if you have lost a battle you cannot believe you have won it; if your client is hanged you cannot pretend that you have got him off.
-- G. K. Chesterton, George Bernard Shaw



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Was it not God whose first request to us is that we should show generosity in return? Having already received so much from him and hoping for so much more, we should surely be ashamed to refuse God the one thing he asks of us, which is to show generosity to others. When he, our Lord and God, is not ashamed to be called our Father, can we repudiate our own kith and kin?

Let us follow the first and most important law of God. He sends down rain on the righteous and on sinners and makes his sun rise for all alike. For creatures that live on land he has spread out the earth, the springs, the rivers, and the forests. He has given the air to the birds and water to the fish. He has provided all with the necessities of life in great abundance. They were not meant to be seized by force, limited by law, or separated by boundaries. And although everything was given to be enjoyed by all in common, this did not cause the supply to become less plentiful. To all who were equal by nature God wanted to give equal gifts and thus to show the greatness of his generosity.
-- Gregory Nazianzen, Oratio 14, De pauperum amore 23-25: PG 35, 887-890.

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