Daily Riches: The Lifetime Job of Learning to Love (Dorothy Day and John Steinbeck)

“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.” John Steinbeck

“Even the best of human love is filled with self-seeking. To work to increase our love for God and for our fellow man (and the two must go hand in hand), this is a lifetime job. We are never going to be finished. Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up. If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens. If we love enough, we are going to light that fire in the hearts of others. And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden us. It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other. No sacrifice and no suffering will then seem too much. Yes, I see only too clearly how bad people are. I wish I did not see it so. It is my own sins that give me such clarity. If I did not bear the scars of so many sins to dim my sight and dull my capacity for love and joy, then I would see Christ more clearly in you all. I cannot worry too much about your sins and miseries when I have so many of my own. I can only love you all, poor fellow travelers, fellow sufferers. I do not want to add one least straw to the burden you already carry. My prayer from day to day is that God will so enlarge my heart that I will see you all, and live with you all, in his love.” Dorothy Day

“But the Lord said to Samuel,
‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.
The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
1 Samuel 16:7

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you aware of the “self-seeking” element of your love for others? Are you improving?
  • Could it be your own sin that keeps you from seeing others as they truly are? …seeing “Christ more clearly” in others?
  • Is learning to love well the most important thing in your life? Should it be?

Abba, enlarge my heart to see others and relate to others through the eyes of your love.

For More: On Pilgrimage by Dorothy Day

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and God seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to regularly share something of unique value with you in less than 400 words. Please leave a question or comment. I appreciate your interest! – Bill

Daily Riches: The Trouble I Give Myself (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, Dwight Moody, Augustine)

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart – and through all human hearts. …And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“All the devils in hell and tempters on earth could do us no injury if there were no corruption in our own natures. …Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us. …The worst thing you have to fear is the treachery of your own heart.” Charles Spurgeon

“I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, Self.” Martin Luther

“I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man.” Dwight L. Moody

“Lord Jesus, don’t let me lie when I say that I love you…and protect me, for today I could betray you.” Augustine

One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth. But Peter denied it. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ he said, and he went out into the entryway. …When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, ‘This man is definitely one of them!’ But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, ‘You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean. Peter swore, ‘A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!”  Mark 14:65-72

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you fear “the treachery of your own heart?” If not, in light of these testimonies, and Peter’s example, why not?
  • If so, what practices do you have in place to protect yourself from the ravages of “the great pope (Self) within?”
  • Do you have a spiritual friend that can help you watch over your heart?

Abba, help me to guard my heart as though my life depended on it, for of course, it does.

For More: Lectures to My Students by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”