Thought of the day
Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thursday of the Second week of Lent
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Let us live according to God

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395), monk and Bishop
Sermon 1 on Love for the Poor : PG 46, 463-466

Let us live according to God

See how we who, in each word of holy Scripture are summoned to imitate the Lord who created us in his goodness, are yet turning everything to our own use and measuring everything by our own approval. We lay claim to possessions for our own lives and set the rest aside for our inheritors. As for people living in misery, they don’t come into the picture. And we haven’t the least care for the poor. Oh unsympathetic hearts!

Should someone see their neighbor lacking bread and the means for obtaining necessary food, far from hastening to offer that person their help so as to draw them out of their misery they observe him as one observes a flourishing plant in process of pitifully drying up for lack of water. And yet that person is overflowing with wealth and would be capable of bringing assistance to many from his goods. Just as the outflow from a single spring can water numerous fields over a vast stretch of land, so the opulence of a single house is capable of saving a large number of poor people from want, provided that parsimony and avarice do not enter in to create an obstacle like a rock which, falling into a stream, turns aside its course.

Let us not live solely according to the flesh ; let us live according to God.

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