Hope & Conversion Belong Together, by Derek RottyJuly 31, 2019
The Daily Signal: Why the Carbon Tax Would Backfire on AmericaJuly 31, 2019
By Msgr. Charles Pope, July 30, 2019
In the Breviary this week, we read a reflection from St. Basil the Great that amounts to an “investment strategy,” not just for the near future but for eternity. Challenging though his thoughts are, they are also sensible and consoling.
St. Basil’s words are shown below in bold, black italics, while my comments appear in red. I have changed the order of his remarks somewhat from the original; the complete text of St. Basil’s commentary, in its original order, can be found here: On Generosity.
St. Basil begins with a challenge, rooted in a blessing:
Man should be like the earth and bear fruit; he should not let inanimate matter appear to surpass him. The earth bears crops for your benefit, not for its own, but when you give to the poor, you are bearing fruit which you will gather in for yourself, since the reward for good deeds goes to those who perform them (Hom. De caritate, 3, 6: pp. 31, 266-267, 275).
Here is St. Basil’s “humbling” challenge: Do not let dirt/soil (humus) be more virtuous and beneficial than you are! In a way it is a play on the Lord’s image that if we, who are called to be salt of the earth, become flat, we are good for nothing except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot (see Matt 5:13). ….