First Saturday of Lent – 5 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers
“Take courage; it is I,
do not be afraid.
And He got into the boat with them
and the wind fell.”
“If you bestow your bread
on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise
for you in the darkness
and the gloom
shall become for you,like midday…”
[My father] actually treated his own property, as if it were another’s, of which he was but the steward, relieving poverty, as far as he could and expending, not only his superfluities but his necessities — a manifest proof of love for the poor, giving a portion, not only to seven, according to the injunction of Solomon but, if an eighth came forward, not even in his case being mi8serly but, more pleased to dispose of his wealth, than we know others are to acquire it.
THIS IS WHAT MOST people do – they give indeed but without that readiness, that is a greater and more perfect thing than the mere offering.
For he thought it much better to be generous, even to the undeserving, for the sake of the deserving, than from fear of the undeserving to deprive those who were deserving.
And this seems to be the duty of casting our bread on the waters, since it will not be swept away or perish in the eyes of the just Investigator but, will arrive yonder where all that is ours is laid up and will meet with us in due time, even though we think it not.
But what is best and greatest of all – [my father’s] magnanimity was accompanied by freedom from ambition!– St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (On the Death of His Father [Oration 18], 20).