“Condescend to all the weaknesses and infirmities of your fellow-creatures, cover their frailties, love their excellencies, encourage their virtues, relieve their wants, rejoice in their prosperities, compassionate their distress, receive their friendship, overlook their unkindness, forgive their malice, be a servant of servants, and condescend to do the lowest offices to the lowest of mankind.” William Law
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another
if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
not looking to your own interests
but each of you to the interests of the others.”
“For it is the one who is least among you all
who is the greatest.”
Jesus, in Luke 9:48
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- If you were to name three truly great people, who would they be? What would your criteria be? Would any of them be those whom Jesus calls “the least?”
- Slowly and prayerfully read over Law’s list again. These are difficult words, but they really only restate in some way what the Bible already calls us to do. What is your response?
- Are you willing to live by this kind of counter-cultural set of values? In what specific way could you begin to do so, or to do so more than you do already? Can you ask God to show you now?
Abba, I resist giving up my rights and dislike condescending to others. Like the disciples, I’m afraid I’m more interested in honor than humility. Help me to take the more difficult, more honorable, more loving road this day. Let me begin in some small but concrete way.
For More: A Call To A Devout and Holy Life by William Law
Thomas Merton’s goal is his writing is the same as mine in this blog: “The purpose of a book of meditations is to teach you how to think and not to do your thinking for you. Consequently if you pick up such a book and simply read it through, you are wasting your time. As soon as any thought stimulates your mind or your heart you can put the book down because your meditation has begun.” I’m not Thomas Merton (!), yet I hope these Daily Riches will lead you into much life-enriching mediation. – Bill (Psalm 90:14)