Posted tagged ‘generosity’

To Admire is to Acquire (Spiritually Speaking)

May 3, 2019


This image from the life of St. Gertrude
colorfully brings home the truth that we move toward what we admire:

At Communion, as [St. Gertrude the Great]
prayed for the Church, but felt a want of fervour,
she prayed to our Lord to give her fervour,
if her petitions were agreeable to Him;
and immediately she beheld a variety of colours:
white, which indicated the purity of the virgins,
violet, which symbolised confessors and religious;
red, which typified the martyrs;
and other colours, according to the merits of the saints.
Then, as she feared to approach our Lord
because she was not adorned with any of these colours,
she was inspired by the Holy Ghost,
“who teaches man wisdom” to return thanks to God
for all those who had been elevated
to the grace and state of virginity;
beseeching Him,
by the love which made Him be born of a Virgin for us,
to preserve all in the Church,
to whom He had vouchsafed this favour
in most perfect purity of body and soul,
for His own honour and glory;
and immediately she beheld her soul adorned
with the same shining whiteness
as the souls of the virgins.

She then returned thanks to God
for the sanctity and perfection
of the confessors and religious
who had pleased Him from the beginning of the world,
beseeching Him
to bring all who were still militant in the Church
to a happy end;
and immediately she beheld her soul adorned with violet;
and as she continued to pray
for the different states and orders in the Church,
her soul was adorned with their respective virtues.
As she returned most fervent thanks to God for these favours,
she beheld herself clothed in a golden amice;
and standing thus marvellously adorned before our Lord,
He turned to the saints, and exclaimed :
” Behold her in garments of gold,
clothed round about with varieties.”
Then He opened His arms to receive her,
as she was no longer able to support
the torrent of Divine joys
with which her soul was encompassed.
~The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude

As We Forgive?

November 7, 2003

The gospel this morning (Luke 16:1-8) was the one about the shrewd steward who reduced the debts of his master’s debtors, one that I’ve long puzzled over. Father’s homily gave me a new perspective. He emphasized the steward’s generosity, conniving as it was, in decreasing those debts, especially since the part of the debt that he forgave was probably what was due to him–his commission on the loan. Father assumed that the master let the steward keep his job. While Scripture doesn’t exactly say that (it just says his master gave him credit for being enterprising), if that were true it would parallel that version of the Our Father that says “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” That sort of jumped out at me today. As the steward forgave the debts owed to him, his master forgave him the debt he owed.

That also puts that line of the Our Father in a new light. Even as we look askance at the steward for giving up his commission only because he wanted to save his skin, so we might look askance at ourselves for only forgiving in order to be forgiven in return. It’s enough of a step in the right direction for God to accept it, but we could do a whole lot better!

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