Recognising the poor Christ


maryflozy 2 Do you want to show honor to Christ’s Body? Don’t despise it when it is naked. Don’t honor it with silks here in the church while outside you leave it shivering with cold and naked. For he who said: «This is my body» (Mt 26,26), ratifying it with his words, is the same who said: «You saw me hungry and gave me no food» and also: «What you did not do for one of these little ones, you did not do for me» (Mt 25,42.45). Here Christ’s body has no need of clothing but of souls that are pure; there it needs plenty of care… God has no need of golden vessels but of golden hearts.

I don’t say this to stop you making religious donations, but I hold that at the same time – and even beforehand – alms should be made… What profit is there in Christ’s table being covered with golden vessels while he himself is dying of hunger? Begin by feeding the hungry and, with what remains, decorate his altar. Are you going to fashion a golden chalice but not give «a cup of cold water»? (Mt 10,42)… Think, too, that it is a question of Christ as he goes about, a wanderer, a stranger, without shelter. Whereas you, who failed to welcome him, decorate the floor, the walls, the capitals of the pillars! You fix up lamps with silver chains but don’t care to notice how he is chained up in prison. I’m not saying this to hold you back from carrying out such deeds of generosity, but I beg you to accompany them – or rather, precede them – with these other charitable works… Therefore, when you decorate the church, don’t forget your brother in distress since he is a temple and more precious than anything.

Love of God

Love of God and neighbor


The more we are united to our neighbor, the more we are united to God. So that you can understand the meaning of this saying I’m going to give you an image taken from the Fathers: imagine a circle drawn on the ground, that is to say a line drawn into a round shape with a compass, having a centre. We refer to the middle of the circle as being the exact centre. Now give your attention to what I am saying. Imagine that this circle is the world, its centre is God and each radius represents different ways or kinds of lifestyle. When the saints, desiring to draw near to God, move towards the middle of the circle, then to the degree to which they penetrate further into its interior they draw closer to each other even as they dra w closer to God. The closer they draw to God, the closer they draw to each other; and the closer they draw to each other, the closer they draw to God.

maryflozy 20

From this you will understand that the same thing applies conversely when we turn away from God to withdraw outside the circle: then it becomes obvious that, the more we withdraw from God, the more we withdraw from each other, and the more we withdraw from each other, the more we also withdraw from God..

Such is the nature of charity. To the extent that we stand outside and do not love God, to the same extent each one of us stands apart with regard to their neighbor. But if we love God, then insofar as we come closer to God through our love for him, we also participate in love of neighbor to the same extent. And insofar as we are united to our neighbor we are equally so to God.