Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sixth Sunday of Easter: Don't be bound by temporal things

Opening Sentence
On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Collect of the Day
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 93, 96

Lessons: Leviticus 25:1-17; James 1:2-8, 16-18; Luke 12:13-21

I want to advise you to leave everything but I do not want to be presumptuous. If therefore you are unable to abandon everything which the world offers, you must so hold those things that are of this world that you may not be held by them in the world; that earthly interest may be possessed, not by the possessor, and that what you have should be under the control of your mind. Otherwise, if your mind is bound by the love of earthly things, it may itself rather be possessed by its own possessions.

Therefore let temporal possessions be what you use, eternal things what you desire. Let temporal goods be for use on the way, eternal goods be desired for when you arrive at your goal. Whatever goes on in this world, let it be as it were glanced at from the side. Let the eyes of our minds gaze straight ahead of us, while they are focused intently on the goal to which we shall come.

Let faults be torn up by the roots, torn away not only from the action in deed, but also from the meditation of the heart. See that the pleasures of the flesh, the anxiety of carefulness, the fever of ambition do not hold us back from the great supper of the Lord, but also let us only touch obliquely as it were with our mind those honourable things which we do in the world, so that the earthly things which delight us may so serve our body that they hinder our heart as little as possible.

My brethren, we do not take it upon us to say to you that you should give up everything, but yet, even while holding to all things, you can if you wish, leave them, if you so handle temporal matters as to strive with the whole mind to eternal aims. That man uses the world as if he were not using it, who brings to the service of his life from outside all things necessary, and yet doe not allow them to lord it over his mind, so that they are subject to him and serve him from outside, and never break the concentration of his mind as it aims at higher things. Whoever therefore are like this, have all earthly things for their use and not as objects of their desires. Therefore let there be nothing to hold back the desire of your mind, let not the love of anything in this world entangle you.

Gregory the Great
Homily 36

Morning Has Broken