04 July 2020

Weekend Reading - To Be Poor - Maximillian and Matthew

"It is very easy to get drunk with hate.  Hate is like the glass of whisky which is given to the soldiers before a bayonet charge.  Whisky stimulates but does not nourish.

Hate is not creative, only love is creative.   These sufferings will not cause us to crumble but will help us, more and more, to become stronger.  They are necessary—together with the sacrifices of others—so that the ones who come after us may be happy.”

Maximilian Kolbe, Auschwitz

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’  And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Matthew 25:31-46

Caravaggio, The Calling of Matthew, the Tax Collector
"Kolbe looked directly and intently into the eyes of those entering the cell. Those eyes of his were always strangely penetrating. The SS men couldn’t stand his glance, and used to yell at him, Schau auf die erde, nicht auf uns!   Kolbe was a psychic trauma, a shock for the SS men who had to bear his look, a look that hungered not for bread, but to liberate them from evil."

Bruno Borgowiec, fellow prisoner at Auschwitz

“If any would come after me, let them deny themselves, and take up their cross, and follow me. For whoever would save their life will lose it,  but whoever loses their life, for my sake, will find it. For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?"

Matthew 16:24-26

"Those among the rich who are not, in the rigorous sense, damned, can understand poverty, because they are poor themselves, after a fashion; but they cannot understand destitution.   Capable of giving alms, perhaps, but incapable of stripping themselves bare, they will be moved, to the sound of beautiful music, at Jesus’s sufferings, but His Cross, the reality of His Cross, will horrify them. They want it all out of gold, bathed in light, costly and of little weight; pleasant to see, hanging from a woman’s beautiful throat."

In the end, the only real tragedy is not to have been a saint."

Léon Bloy, La Femme pauvre

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 5:3