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Gratitude and Generosity (I) [Awakening Faith]
Every good and perfect gift is from above. (James 1:17)
Recognize to whom you owe the fact that you exist, that you breathe, that you understand, that you are wise, and above all that you know of God and hope for the kingdom of heaven and the vision of glory — now darkly as in a mirror but then with greater fullness and purity (1 Cor. 13:12). You have been made a son or daughter of God, a coheir with Christ. Where did you get all this, and from whom?
Let me turn to what is of less importance: the visible world around us. What benefactor has enabled you to look out upon the beauty of the sky, the sun in its course, the circle of the moon, the countless number of stars, with the harmony and order that they exhibit, like the music of a harp? Who has blessed you with rain, with the art of farming, with different kinds of food, with the arts, with houses, with laws, with states, with a life of humanity and culture, with friendship and the easy familiarity of family?
Who has given you dominion over animals, those that are pets and those that provide you with food? Who has made you lord and master of everything on earth? In short, who has endowed you with all that makes humans superior to all other living creatures?
Is it not God? And is it not he who asks you in turn to be generous above all other creatures and for the sake of all other creatures? We have received so many wonderful gifts from him — will we refuse to give him this one thing, our generosity? Is that not shameful? Though he is God and Lord he is not afraid to be known as our Father. Will we respond by denying our brothers and sisters? [Continued next Sunday . . . ]
Gregory of Nazianzus
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotionals from the Early Church
by James Stuart Bell and Patrick J. Kelly
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