What Have You Done For the Least Of Mine?

Our lives as we live them seem like lives that anticipate questions that never will be asked. It seems as if we are getting ourselves ready for the question “How much did you earn during your lifetime?” or “How many friends did you make?” or “How much progress did you make in your career?” or “How much influence did you have on people?” or “How many conversions did you make?”

Were any of these to be the question Christ will ask when he comes again in glory, many of us could approach the judgment day with great confidence. But nobody is going to hear any of these questions. The question we all are going to face is the question we are least prepared for. It is: “What have you done for the least of mine?” As long as there are strangers; hungry, naked, and sick people; prisoners, refugees, and slaves; people who are handicapped physically, mentally, or emotionally; people without work, a home, or a piece of land, there will be that haunting question from the throne of judgment: “What have you done for the least of mine?” ~Fr. Henri J.M. Nouwen, Seeds of Hope

Humility is Self-Forgetfulness


“Humility, in fact, is not so much self-depreciation as self-forgetfulness. It is a return to the simplicity of childhood based upon a realization of the fatherhood of God. It is to realize that our sanctification is the work of God, and that we are rather an obstacle to His work than otherwise. It is a realization, and a glad acceptation, of the fact that we have nothing which we have not received. The truly humble never desire to appear before God as workers who have accomplished all their tasks perfectly, and who therefore expect to receive their full wages as their due. Such workers, of course, will receive their just reward; if we appeal to God’s justice, He will be just with us. But which of us dare stand in such confidence before the judgment seat of God and put all our hope in His just retribution? Such an attitude is the height of folly. The wise man closes his eyes to any good he may have done and goes to God as to his Savior, relying on His mercy and upon his own poverty. For that is the claim or title which our Lord recognizes to the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3).” ~Dom Eugene Boylan, O.C.R., This Tremendous Lover

We All Want Progress

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be and if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. We have all seen this when we do arithmetic. When I have started a sum the wrong way, the sooner I admit this and go back and start over again, the faster I shall get on. There is nothing progressive about being pigheaded and refusing to admit a mistake. And I think if you look at the present state of the world, it is pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistakes. We are on the wrong road. And if that is so, we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on.” ~C. S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity



Are you


just a little

and calling

it a life?


~Mary Oliver

Christ Prunes and Purifies

The image of a sweet, gentle Savior, like the thought of an all-loving God, is wonderful, but it is only a small part of the picture. It insulates us from the real power of his touch. Christ comforts and heals, saves and forgives – we know that; but we must not forget that he judges too. If we truly love him, we will love everything in him; not only his compassion and mercy, but his sharpness too. It is his sharpness that prunes and purifies. ~J. Heinrich Arnold

Forgiving the Unforgivable


“It is necessary, it seems to me, to begin from the fact that, yes, there is the unforgivable. Is this not, in truth, the only thing there is to forgive? The only thing that calls for forgiveness? If one is only prepared to forgive what appears forgivable, what the church calls “venial sin,” then the very idea of forgiveness would disappear.… There is only forgiveness, if there is any, where there is the unforgivable.” ~Jacques Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness: Thinking in Action

Only Heaven

Everything smaller than heaven bores us because only heaven is bigger than our hearts. ~Peter Kreeft

The Ladder of the Cross


“Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.”

~St. Rose of Lima

Abandonment is the Soul’s Passover

“To abandon oneself is to renounce, to quit, to alienate oneself, to disappear, it is to yield oneself altogether without measure, without reserve, and almost without noticing what we do, to Him who has the right over us. To abandon oneself is to pass away. . . . Abandonment is the soul’s Passover; on one side it is its immolation, on the other it is its divine consummation.” ~Charles Louis Gay, The Christian Life and Virtues Considered in the Religious State, Vol. 3