Thought for the Day – 18 November – The Memorial of Saint Odo of Cluny (c 880–942) Monk and Abbot
In the following passage, John of Salerno, Odo’s biographer, says he combined the power of his position as Abbot, with wry humour, to compel members of his entourage to behave charitably:
“The blind and the lame, Odo said, would be the doorkeepers of heaven. Therefore, no- one ought to drive them away from his house, so that in the future, they should not shut the doors of heaven against him.
So if one of our servants, not being able to put up with their shameless begging, replied sharply to them or denied them access to the door of our tent, Odo at once rebuked him with threats.
Then, in the servant’s presence, he used to call the poor man and command him, saying:
“When this man comes to the gate of heaven, pay him back in the same way.”
He said this to frighten the servants, so that they should not act in this way again, and that he might teach them to love charity.”
Perhaps Odo’s notion was not fictitious—that the poor we refuse or people we snub, will be our greeters after death.
Imagine that the person meeting us at heaven’s gate, will be the person we have offended most, now empowered to welcome or to reject us.
That thought, should make us hurry to be reconciled, with anyone we have hurt!
Let us run in haste and follow Odo’s bidding!