Posted by: ritagone | November 16, 2016

What I’m Reading

 

 

bigstock-stack-old-book-and-candle-edu-22209629         This year (2016) I have used for my early morning devotionals a book that I have come to love and cherish; it’s called “Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community,” with an introduction by Richard J. Foster. It is filled with such sweet, down to earth wisdom and insight about living the Christian life and being in touch with God that I wanted to share two of the exceptional passages with you today that I have read recently. I hope they touch your heart as they have mine and give your day a boost.

 

 

Stooping to help somebody. This position is called Mitzvah, a good deed. This, they say, nudges God right to the Book of Golden Deeds. And God writes down the Mitzvah in diamond-studded letters ten feet high.

In the twelfth century Moses Maimonides devised eight ways to nudge God for a Mitzvah while performing charity. Each one higher than the other. The highest degree is to make the man who needs charity self-supporting. The next highest degree is where the one that gives and the one that receives are not aware of each other. The third Inferior degree is where the recipient knows the giver, but the giver does not know the recipient. A lesser Mitzvah is when the poor man knows to whom he is indebted, but the giver does not know to whom he has given. The fifth degree is where the giver puts alms into the hands of the poor without being asked. The sixth degree is where he puts money into the hands of the poor after being asked. The seventh degree is where he gives less than he should, but does so cheerfully. The eighth degree is where he gives resentfully.

But there’s a catch to all these Mitzvahs. It’s best illustrated by an old story about a Rabbi, who was so addicted to golf that he even snuck off on the High Holy Day to play. That day he made a hole in one. As he danced about with exultation, there was a rumble of thunder and a clap of lightning, and God’s voice boomed down on him. ‘So who are you going to tell?’ That’s the catch when you earn a Mitzvah. ‘So who are you going to tell? If you do, you’ll lose it. The question is, what have you done for someone today, that you didn’t have to do…and whom didn’t you tell?’”

Dave Berg, My Friend GOD

 

 

And this one, from the writings of recently deceased Elie Wiesel, whom I think was one of the most profound writers around, always a blessing to read:

 

 

“Mr. Wiesel writes:

 

“One of the Just Men came to Sodom, determined to save its inhabitants from sin and punishment. Night and day he walked the streets and markets protesting against greed and theft, falsehood and indifference. In the beginning, people listened and smiled ironically. Then they stopped listening: he no longer amused them. The killers went on killing, the wise men kept silent, as if there were no Just Man in their midst.

One day a child, moved by compassion for the unfortunate teacher, approached him with these words: ‘Poor stranger, you shout, you scream, don’t you see that it is hopeless?’

‘Yes, I see,’ answered the Just Man.

‘Then why do you go on?’

‘I’ll tell you why. In the beginning, I thought I could change man. Today, I know I cannot. If I still shout today, if I still scream, it is to prevent man from ultimately changing me.’”

 

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Responses

  1. I have always loved these passages since I first came across them
    over 15 years ago.


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