Friday, August 20, 2010

"If a man take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him (Matt. 5:40).

To let go one's cloak must surely mean to give up all rights, to consider oneself the servant and slave of others. It is easier to walk or run without a cloak, so Jesus adds: Whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two (ibid, 41). It is not enough to give what is asked of me, I must foresee another's meed, show that she does me an honour by asking a service of me; and if anything is taken from me, appear glad to be rid of it.
It is not always possible to obey this passage from the Gospel literally; sometimes I am obliged to refuse. But where charity has taken deep root in a soul, it shows outwardly: a refusal may be so gracious that it gives as much pleasure as a gift. An obliging person is, of course, being made use of continually, but that is no reason for avoiding those whom one might have to refuse, for Our Lord says: From him that would borrow of thee, turn not away (ibid, 42). Nor must I be obliging merely to appear so, or in the hope of getting some little service in return, for Our Lord has said: If you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thanks are to you? for sinners also lend to sinners, for to receive as much, Do good, and lend, hoping for nothing thereby: and your reward shall be great (Luke 6: 34, 35) (St Therese "Story of the Soul")