Monday, April 28, 2014

Whom the Master seeks

For to despise the present age,
not to love transitory things,
unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility
to God and our neighbor,
to preserve patience against offered insults
and, with patience guarded,
to repel the pain of malice from the heart,
to give one's property to the poor,
not to covet that of others,
to esteem the friend in God,
on God's account
to love even those who are hostile,
to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor,
not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy,

This is the new creature
whom the Master of the nations seeks
with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying,
‘If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, 
the old things are passed away. 
Behold all things are made new.’

Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome

What can it mean to ‘despise the present age’
if only not to worship it and be hardened by its accomplishments?
What can it mean to ‘not love transitory things’
if only not to rely on any beauty other than the Divine Nature?
What can it mean to ‘unreservedly stretch out the mind in humility’
if only not to crush ourselves with the heavy weight of self-protecting walls built against saying ‘yes’ to God and our neighbor?
What can it mean to ‘preserve patience’
and to ‘repel the pain of malice’
if only not to abandon being hung on the Cross with Christ
who promises paradise even to thieves?
What can it mean to ‘give one’s property to the poor’
and ‘not to covet that of others’
if only not to hoard as our own
that which has been provided in abundance to us and to all?
What can it mean to ‘esteem the friend in God’
if only not to hate one's enemies, not to laugh at the pains of others, and not to rejoice at the death of anyone?

Yes, He knows who are His among those who profess to be His disciples, even those who are His without professing, and that is why He does not give Himself to all men, because He knows them, but secretly bestows Himself on those and only those who earnestly seek Him by obedience to His word.

If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

John 14:23

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