Sunday, May 4, 2008

Wisdom from… (4 May 08)

JOHN OF CHRYSOSTOM (347–407): Christ is our guest

When people receive a dear friend in their homes, is it not obvious that everything is a pleasure for them, and that they run about in all directions, sparing no effort to please their guest, even if it means spending all they have? Well, Christ is our guest, so let us show him that we are really happy, and do nothing to displease him. Let us decorate the house he has come to as a sign of our joy. Let us put before him the kind of food he likes best to show our delight. What is this food? He tells us himself: My food is to do the will of him who sent me. Let us feed him when he is hungry, and give him a drink when he is thirsty. If you offer him a cup of cold water he will accept it because he loves you. However small a loved one's gifts may be, they have great value in the eyes of a friend.
(Hom. XX on John's Gospel.)

Patriarch of Constantinople, St. John spent a life of preaching and earned the title of "the golden-mouthed" (chrysostomos).

ST AUGUSTINE: Christian Grief for a Saintly Mother

Gently, I closed my mother's eyes. An immeasurable sorrow flowed up into my heart and would have overflowed in tears. But my eyes, under the mind's strong constraint, held back their flow. As my mother breathed her last, the child Adeodatus broke out into lamentations. We checked him and brought him to silence.
-- Confessions 9, 12

Prayer. Lord, I know that my mother always forgave others with all her heart. Please forgive her, too.
-- Confessions 9, 13


Whoever does not fear death is a fool. He runs a great risk of being lost forever, because the place to which we go after death is eternal. We will be saved or damned for eternity. The great servants of the Lord were very much aware of this and feared this terribly important event…yet all the same they joyfully desired and sought it, confident of the outcome.
(Sermons 62; O. X, p. 318)


HAPPY is he and more than wise
Who sees with wondering eyes and clean
This world through all the grey disguise
Of sleep and custom in between.
Yes; we may pass the heavenly screen,
But shall we know when we are there?
Who know not what these dead stones mean,
The lovely city of Lierre.
('Tremendous Trifles.')

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