Brothers and sisters, we must be on guard and watch over us, young and old, for he must show by our own conduct pleasing to God in every good work; small to be subjected to large because of the Lord and tall, willing to small as to real children because of the Lord's commandment that says: "Everything you've done any of these little ones, it's me that you did" (Matt.25/40). Not only for the poor, as some believe, and those who lack food body, the Lord said this, but for all our other brothers that consumes not the scarcity of bread and water, but the scarcity of inertia and disobedience to the commandments of the Lord. For as the soul is more precious than the body, as the spiritual food is more necessary than food body, and it was even her, I think, that the Lord said: "I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink "(Matt. 25, 42), for her and not for the perishable food of the body. For it is a real thirst He feels for the salvation of us all, a thirst and hunger, yet our salvation is to abstain from all sin, but this abstention from sin, apart from the practice of virtue and the fulfillment of all commandments is an unattainable ideal, since it is by fulfilling the commandments that normally feeds us our Lord and God, the Lord of the universe. For, as saying that our holy Fathers, as well as our bad deeds nourish and strengthen us against the demons, but if we renounce evil, they suffer from starvation and lose all force, even so, that I think one who has depleted our salvation we find in his food or is otherwise neglected, reduced to starvation.
I'll take the example of a saint to teach your charity. I know you read the life of St. Mary of Egypt, not told by someone else but itself, the angelic creature, which, as by way of confession, we made its poverty these words: "Even when very often men offered me the price of sin, I did not take him. What I did, "she said, not that I had enough resources for my needs - because I was spinning oakum to feed myself - but to have many lovers at the disposal of my desires." And as she was about to embark for Alexandria win, it was reduced to this level of poverty have neither the tour price or the amount of expenses. But when, after his vow to the Immaculate Mother of God she went to the desert, with two pieces she had received from someone, she bought some bread, and with that she passed the Jordan and held out in the desert, doing penance until his death, without seeing a soul apart from Zosimus, much less fed a poor hungry or drink to a thirsty, clothed the naked, visited the prisoners and foreigners gathered.
How, tell me, in these circumstances will she saved, and will she with the merciful in the Kingdom of Heaven, which she has neither given up wealth or property given to the poor, nor never done any work of mercy, but rather was shown to thousands of other causes of perdition?
You see the result, if we pretend that the works of mercy do with wealth and food body is our only way to feed the Lord if they should be for only those who have well nourished, refreshed, In a word treated, the condition of salvation, and if fault is that we lost, how absurd we end up!
For property and possessions in the world are common to all, as well as light and the air we breathe, such as grazing animals without reason in the plains and mountains. All things have been made to all common only to use it and enjoy it, but when the property they are in person.
But how do our part by exercising mercy toward ourselves, are we supposed to exercise towards one who for us became like us? Think about it, please, what I say. For your sake God became man and poor, you should also be back, you who believe in Him, as He, poor man. He is poor according to the humanity, poor you too by the deity. Look a bit now, how you feed, look at it closely. It has depleted so that you become rich, for you to share the riches of His grace that's why He took flesh, that you had to share His divinity. So when you spread you out yourself to receive it, then we say that He will be welcomed by you. When, because of Him you are hungry and thirsty, it counts for him as a food and drink. How so? Because these works of art and action, and the like, you purify your soul and you free yourself from famine and filth of passions and he made you and has collected and applied to Himself everything that relates to you, the God who wants you to God, as He became man, what are you doing with yourself, as He has done to Him and He will say: "Everything you doing in this tiny, your soul is to Me that you did. "
By what kind of real work, in fact, those who lived in caves and mountains they have pleased God? For no other, certainly, that charity, repentance and faith - for abandoning the world to follow Him He alone is through repentance and tears they have received and accommodated, that they have fed his hunger and thirst quenched his thirst - those were quick to dress and of Christ, Himself, but Christ they dress, for they are Christ, too, as son of God from the divine baptism. But if, instead of doing so, they all dress the naked in the world, but without leaving their own nakedness, what have they gained?
Another thing: brothers in Christ, is the name that once baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we bear nay, we even its members. Having thus the reality of a brother and a member of Christ, if you give to any other honor, hospitality and care, but you neglect yourself and, instead of combat by all means to reach the summit of the life and honored by God, if you abandon the famine of nonchalance, or thirst for laziness, or the narrow prison of the body unclean, because of greed and love of pleasure, your soul lying in the dirt and filth in the depths of darkness, like a corpse - do not you outraged brother of Christ? Is not Him that you have neglected in his hunger and thirst? Do not you leave without a visit in his prison? It will not do more for you to hear you say: "You do not have mercy on you, you will not find mercy."
But if someone says: "Because it's like that, and we do not recompense for property and wealth that we provide, what need to give something to the poor? . Whoever plays it must try and go to each according to his works, as if He said: "Fool, what you brought into this world or what is visible in things that you have made yourself? Are not you out naked breast of thy mother, and do not you leave this life naked and stripped appear before my court? What is this fortune to you, why you asked me for compensation? What are these goods with which you say you practice mercy to your brothers and, through them, to me, which I've provided all this, not only you but all have in common? Or do you imagine that I want something and do you think I let myself buy I also like the most greedy of earthly judges? You might well, in your madness, to make that calculation ... No, this is not envy that I no wealth but pity for you, this is not the desire to take your property, but will free you from the trial in their subject, I give you these prescriptions for this and for no other reason. "
Yes, does not believe, brother, that God is in trouble, He did not have enough to feed the poor and that is why He commands us to practice mercy toward them, and d 'attach such importance to this command. No way!
The devil had suggested we take ownership of what was available to us for everyone's needs and to hoard, to make us fall for this greed in a double count, and we make litigants of eternal punishment and condemnation: first, lack of mercy, the second place our hope in wealth aside and not God. For he who has wealth of his side can not hope in God, as evidenced by what we said Christ our God: "Where your treasure is, there also will your heart." This one is so that everyone enjoy his wealth he has set aside has not provided a reward, instead he is guilty for having hitherto unjustly deprived the other, and more it is responsible for all those who in the meantime hunger or thirst have cost the lives of those at this moment he could not feed and fed, having buried the share of poor and having cruelly left to perish of cold and hunger, he who has shown many times that murderer could feed on men.
Giving his property, his heart is free
Once He has thus fulfilled all these counts, the Good Lord and Compassionate no longer concerns us as owners of the property of others, but from our own, and it is not ten times, but He promised one hundred times give us, if we distribute joyfully to our brothers and joy is not looking all that well as our own, but as assets that God has entrusted to us for the benefit our fellow servants, is to spread his property freely, with joy and generosity, not with sorrow or stress, and it both cheerfully that we are undermining our reserves in the hope of the promise of truth that God has made us a hundredfold reward. God knew in fact that we are all wholly owned by the desire of fortune and folly of wealth, and the tenacity with which we are attached, so that those who in any way whatsoever, it are private to lose appetite for life, and He has used the appropriate remedy promising us, I repeat, we reward a hundredfold of what we spend on the poor, to relieve us of this first chapter grievance and greed, and then we stopped to put our trust and hope and saw our hearts free from such links, and a time to become free, then we walked without barriers to the implementation of His commandments and serve him in fear and trembling, not as if we were doing him a favor, but the fact of that service as recipients of His goodness. Otherwise, you can not save us. Because the rich have received an order for the first drop of their wealth, as a kind of burden and hindrance to a godly life before making the cross on their shoulders and follow the Traces of the Master: Indeed, we load both, it is absolutely impossible. As for those outside of this case, living in an average condition or even denied the need, they have nothing which hinders, if they want to walk through and narrow, but some have to this need in this regard that the intention, the other journeying on the road itself, so they must live with patience and thanksgiving. And God is just, those who lead the way toward life and the eternal enjoyment, prepare a resting place.
After the distribution of goods, cross to bear
But as to give all his property and wealth, without, however valiantly sustain the assault trials and tribulations of every kind, that seems a cowardly soul, which knows to what purpose it can serve. For just as gold rusty depth can be purified for good and resume its natural glow that is cast into the fire and hammered repeatedly, so the soul rusted with the rust of sin and damaged in depth can be purified and regain its former beauty in confronting many a test and passing through the crucible of tribulation. This is indeed what we see is the word of the Lord by this expression: "Sell everything you have and give to the poor, take up your cross and come follow me," pointing to the cross by the trials and tribulations.
Indeed since the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force, since it is not true for another way to enter the narrow gate of the trials and tribulations, it is right that the divine oracle commands us: "Strive to enter through the narrow gate" (Luke 13, 24), and again: "By your patience, save your souls! "(Luke, 21, 19), and:" You must go through many tribulations enter the kingdom of heaven. " He then distributes his goods to those in need and who retired from the business world in the hope of reward, instructs its consciousness of pleasure he takes, and sometimes frustrated his reward by vanity . But he who shows patience in trouble, giving thanks in his mind and standing firm in difficulties, he felt all the bitterness and pain of suffering, at least for now, keeping his mind free, in the 'his future reward will be great to have imitated the sufferings of Christ and patiently waiting in the days when assailed trials and tribulations.
Therefore I beg you, my brothers in Christ, let us hasten according to the word of the Lord God our Savior, Jesus Christ, since we said goodbye to the world and worldly things to enter through the narrow gate which is to hide and flee our mentality and our carnal desire. For unless the dead to the flesh, its desires and its intentions, it is not possible to obtain the release, the freeing of our ills and the freedom that comes to us from the comfort of the Holy mind. And, apart from it - I mean, the coming of the Spirit - no one will see the Lord, neither in this world nor in the next century. Whether you have certainly done well, by distributing all your possessions to those in need - if you do not worry am not booked as did the famous Ananias (Acts 5: 1-5) - that more you had renounced the world and worldly things, that you fled from life's worries and to hasten the wearing of Life, now on the similarity of piety, I agree and I praise you for this party . But now the mindset of the flesh that you should in turn strip, as once your clothes to acquire under the coat you have paved for Christ, attitudes of mind and mentality to a spiritual nay, to take over, through penance, the mantle of light that is other than the Holy Spirit which is realized only by the practical virtues of perseverance and patience in tribulation. For the soul experiencing the trials and tribulations is encouraged to tears, tears, purifying the heart, make the temple and the remains of the Holy Spirit: as it is not enough to be saved and become perfect, to bring simply we dress and decorate the outside of the statue, but as well as outside, the man inside us that we should decorate the ornament of all the Spirit, we sacrifice to God unreserved, soul and body. That the piety of the Spirit in our soul learns to think like she must think and still think that looks eternal life, to be humble, gentle, full of contrition, compunction, grieving and praying every day to call it to the light, the light of the Spirit, all of which occur normally in it for the price of a burning repentance when she cleans dint of tears, tears that never without her coat can not be cleaned or itself rise to the top of contemplation. Indeed, a habit he picked up somewhere in the mud or manure that has stained the thick, no way to clean it, if not with water and strength to beat the trampling: just the mantle of the soul, stained by mud and manure from sinful passions, can not be described except by dint of tears and patience in the trials and discounts. Also those who have stained their souls by doing sinful is sin and the passionate movement of the heart, imprinting themselves in images of irrational desires, they must be cleaned by dint of tears and make the coat their soul its perfect purity. That, indeed, about to see God, He light that illuminates the heart of every man who comes to Him through repentance, no way, since they are the pure in heart who see God (Matt. 5, 8).
Let us therefore, I beg you, my brothers and fathers and children, to find the purity of heart by the vigilance of our ways and by continual confession of secret thoughts of our soul. For the confession that we diligently, daily, for the thoughts of this kind of regret springing from the heart, gives us the repentance of what we did or just meditating; repentance brings forth tears from the depths of the soul tears purify the heart and make disappear the greatest sins, they erased the tears, the soul is in the comfort of the Divine Spirit, is watered by the currents of sweet compunction and through them Each day, fertilized in a spiritual sense, it nourishes the fruit of the Spirit at harvest time, like a puffed wheat sap, as it produces an inexhaustible food for the soul and its eternal and incorruptible life . When zeal has put into this state, it is familiar to God and is the home of the Divine Trinity and residence, merely finding its own Creator and God and conversing with him every day she leaves her body and the world and the atmosphere, and rising to heaven of heavens, rendered mild by the virtues and the wings of love of God, it is fair with all the rest of his sentences, in the infinite of divine light, where the troops of Christ's apostles, martyrs, of blessed and all the virtues of their top mixed choirs.
That such a state become also our brothers in Christ, that we did not stay back in our Holy Fathers, but our zeal for the good and the practice of the commandments of Christ allows us to reach the perfect man, to measure the size of the fullness of Christ (Éph.4 13) Nothing prevents us, as long as we wanted. Thus, in effect, and we glorify God in ourselves, and God will rejoice with us, and we find God out of this life, this vast bosom of Abraham who welcomes us and warms us in the kingdom of heaven may we all attain, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Him be glory forever. Amen.