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Sunday, September 22, 2013
Love of the Giver
By St. John of the Cross
Some value themselves in proportion to the number of their good works, forgetting that God cares more for the motive or our actions than for their quantity, and that far fewer works would be better pleasing to Him, were they accompanied by warmer love. With love, a small alms, or a fast from one meal only, will content Him better than much greater austerities and gifts without it. So the widow who gave her two mites pleased Him better than many who gave far more, because of her truer love. God s greatness appears in this, that no service, however great counts for much before Him, if not rendered with the whole heart. For why should He? He Who has need of nothing, and Who cannot increase in riches or in any other good, care for aught that can be given to Him, except for the love of the giver, which is so precious a present that none can rightly refuse it? This gift God desires so strongly, that He punishes all with eternal death who withhold it from Him. Who can be so little covetous as He Who has no need of anything we can offer Him? Or who is there that longs for our hearts as keenly as God does, seeing that He sends to hell those who refuse them to Him? Even if we love Him, He is not contented unless we prefer Him above all else. St. Augustine cried: "Lord, Thou commandest me to love Thee, and dost threaten me with misery unless I do so!" Let your chief care be to love our Lord. It is for this purpose He made you (St. John of the Cross, Letter 144)._______________