Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Poverty revealing poverty ...

On the way to work, I stopped at a robot where a dishevelled beggar was standing. Realizing I had some fruit in my car, I opened the window and gave it to him. He took the chilled grapes (they were really quite exquisite), his hands shaking, and said: "The last time I had these I was ... a little child".

When he had walked away from the carwindow, I wept, and offered a prayer for him. I am shamed, since I have given him only from my excess, my riches ... the giving did not cost me much; Yet to him, it was great joy. How easily we soothe our consciences, how easily we look away! His poverty of mortal wealth revealed my poverty of devotion.

O Christ, hidden in the poor and despised, have mercy on us. Lead us along the sure way of salvation, for in You alone do we place our hope.

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