Saturday, August 14, 2004

Augustine Day by Day - August 13 - Rich and Poor--Equal Births

"Carefully examine yourself and see how you stand in relation to the poor. Look at yourself, not at what you possess. Why do you scorn your brother or sister? In your mother's wombs both of you were naked. In truth, even when you have departed this life, and your bodies have rotted, when your souls have been sent forth, can the bones of the rich and poor people be told apart? I am speaking of the condition of humankind in which all are born. For both things are true: a person becomes rich here and a poor person will not be here forever."

-- Commentary on Psalm 103, 7

Prayer. God examines rich and poor, not according to their lands and houses, but according to the riches of their hearts.

-- Commentary on Psalm 48, 3

August 13

Our shame is that we, most of us, will read these words as mere well worn platitiudes and not really do anything with them or about them. To or great shame, we are triggered to read about inner and outer poverty as old (dead-old) metaphors, rather than as the revolutionary, day-checking words that they are.

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