01 March 2008

The gift of God

I came across something by Cardinal Newman in A Word in Season, a series of eight volumes of supplementary readings for the Office of Readings in the Breviary published by Augustinian Press. He write on the importance of recognising everything that is gift from God. Here are a few extracts.

Let us beware of dishonouring and rudely rejecting God's gifts, out of gloominess or sternness; let us beware of fearing without feasting . . . And let us not so plunge ourselvesin the sense of our offences, as not withal to take delight in the contemplation of our privileges. Let us rejoice while we mourn. Let us look up to our Lord and Saviour the more we shrink from the sight of ourselves; let us have the more faith and love the more we exercise repentance.

All the beauty of nature, the kind influences of the seasons, the gifts of sun and moon, and the fruits of the earth, the advantages of civilized life, and the presence of friends and intimates; all these good things are but one extended and wonderful type of God's benefits in the gospel.

Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon, writes along similar lines in his weekly column for 29 February in the Catholic Sentinel, the Catholic weekly in Oregon: Each encounter with God can have spark of first one. He writes: The Samaritan woman came to the well hoping and intending to draw out some water for the sake of her very survival. When the Lord promised her "living water" her first thought was water which preserved this life, water which precluded the need to come to the well again. You can read the full article here.

You'll find all of Bishop Vasa's previous columns here and at the bottom of that webpage you'll find a link - which didn't work for me just now! - to enable you to subscribe to Bishop Vasa's column by email. He reflects as he drives around his large, mountainous diocese in a particularly beautiful but sparsely populated area of the United States.

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