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Woe to those who are rich, who are full, who laugh and who are praised


Mon­day. [Phil. 2:12–16; Luke 6:24–30] Woe to those who are rich, who are full, who laugh, and who are praised. But good shall come to those who endure every wrong­ful accu­sa­tion, beat­ing, rob­bery, or com­pul­so­ry dif­fi­cul­ty. This is com­ plete­ly oppo­site to what peo­ple usu­ ally think and feel! The thoughts of God are as far from human thoughts as heav­en is from the earth. How else could it be?We are in exile; and it is not remark­able for those in exile to be offend­ed and in­ sult­ed. We are under a penance; the penance con­sists of depri­va­tions and labours. We are sick; and most use­ful for the sick are bit­ter medi­ cines. The Sav­iour Him­self all of His life did not have a place to lay His head, and He fin­ished his life on the cross — why should his fol­low­ers have a bet­ter lot? The Spir­it of Christ is the spir­it of pre­pared­ness to suf­fer and bear good-natured­ly all that is sor­row­ful. Com­fort, arro­ gance, splen­dour, and ease are all for­eign to its search­ing and tastes. Its path lies in the fruit­less, drea­ry desert. The mod­el is the forty-year wan­der­ing of the Israelites in the desert. Who fol­lows this path? Ev­ ery­one who sees Canaan beyond the desert, boil­ing over with milk and hon­ey. Dur­ing his wan­der­ing he too receives man­na, how­ev­er not from the earth, but from heav­ en; not bod­i­ly, but spir­i­tu­al­ly. All the glo­ry is within.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse.