Thought of the day
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday of the Second week of Lent

"God sees the heart" (1Sm 16,7)

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church 
Discourses on the psalms, Ps 85 [86]; CCL 39, 1178
"God sees the heart" (1Sm 16,7)

Was that poor man welcomed by the angels solely on account of his poverty? And the rich man, was he delivered up to torment by fault of his wealth alone? No. Let us clearly understand that it was humility that was honored in the poor man and pride condemned in the rich.

This is the proof, briefly, that it was not his wealth but his pride for which the rich man deserved his punishment. So then, the poor man was carried into the bosom of Abraham; yet Scripture says of Abraham that he had much gold and silver and was rich on earth (Gn 13,2). If every rich man is sent into torment, how is it that Abraham could precede the poor man so as to welcome him into his bosom? It was because, in the midst of his wealth, Abraham was poor, humble, respectful and obedient to all God's commands. He held his riches in so little esteem that, when God asked it of him, he consented to offer in sacrifice the son to whom these riches were destined (Gn 22,4).

Learn to be poor and needy, then, whether you possess something in this world or whether you don't possess anything. Because we find beggars full of pride and rich people who confess their sins. “God resists the proud” whether they are covered with silk or with rags, but “he gives grace to the humble” (Jas 4,6) whether or not they have possessions in this world. God looks at what is within; it is there he assesses, there he examines

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