Wednesday, November 19, 2014

True Generosity

For to him who has more will be given,
and he will have abundance;
but from him who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Luke 13:12

How can we describe generosity? 

There is no pattern for it. 

We can't imitate anyone else's expressions of generosity. 

The form it takes for one may not be the form it takes in another. 

What we have to do is earnestly beg for the grace to be generous, for the light to see what is wanted of us, not in general but in every particular moment. 

There is literally not a moment when I am not being given a choice between God and myself. 

True generosity is always alert, always 'there', eagerly looking for the Lord, ready to throw its arms around him whatever his guise.  

It doesn't drift through life, sticking to patterned behavior and missing these living encounters in my neighbor, in the duty of the moment, in this little humiliation, in this physical pain, in this disappointment, in this pleasure and joy.

We are not to wait for our glorious hour, the hour of testing when we shall be called upon to show our generosity.

That hour may never come and if it does, we shall respond in the same measure as we respond to him in his humble guise hour by hour.

It is not a case of seeking suffering but a determination to disregard self, to accept life as it is, to be wholly at the service of others, faithful to our obligations great and small no matter how tedious, unromantic, unrewarding; willing to shoulder burdens that may seem too heavy if we are called upon to do so; disdaining to consider whether we are feeling happy or sad, consoled or afflicted.

This wholeheartedness is the way to happiness, whereas the careful, calculating life is fatiguing, full of stumbling blocks and fears.

We must pray for and work for an ardent love which overcomes reason.

~Sr. Ruth Burrows, O.C.D., in Interior Castle Explored

Grant me, dear Lord,
"a heart generous in giving itself...
a faithful, generous heart...
a humble, gentle heart...
a great indomitable heart..."
(Rev. Leonce de Grandmaison, S.J.)

Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
make my heart like unto Thine!

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