Monday, February 16, 2015

If Not You, Then Who?

The digital readout in the car displayed -19 degrees on the way to the airport this morning.  As I drove the dark roads I listened to a talk by Peter Herbeck titled:  If Not You, Then Who? 
And my heart was warmed.
It was a talk on evangelization, and Peter brought it down to simple basics, and rammed it home with simple examples.  He spoke of how St. Peter preached the basics.  And in one example, Mr. Herbeck told of a conversation he had at an airport bar, and how a man spoke to Peter about his troubles and then Peter and he prayed together, right there.  I had a conversation like that in an airport bar not that long ago, and I had a similar conversation just this Saturday, but in neither did I think to ask the other to pray.  I think I shall next time.  Mr. Herbeck, as did his namesake St. Peter, gave me much to think on this day.
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After dropping my friend home from the airport, I had time to make early morning mass, and afterwards read the Readings of the day.  The reading from Proverbs spoke of how one finds wisdom:
My son, forget not my teaching;
keep in mind my commands;
For many days, and years of life,
and peace, will they bring you.
Let not kindness and fidelity leave you;
Then will you win favor and good esteem
before God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
on you own intelligence rely not. …
Be not wise in your own eyes.
Honor the Lord with your wealth.
Happy the man who finds wisdom.
The Second Reading this morning was a sermon by Saint Bernard, on the same topic, finding and using wisdom.
“The field is the world.  Let us work in it and dig up wisdom, its hidden treasure.  If you are looking for it, really look.  Be converted and come.  Converted from what?  From your own willfulness.  Blessed is the man who finds wisdom and is full of prudence.
If you have found wisdom, you have found honey.  But do not eat so much that you become too full and bring it all up.  Eat so that you are always hungry.  Wisdom says:  Those who eat me continue to hunger.  Do not think you have too much of it.
There are three ways for wisdom or prudence to abound in you:  if you confess your sins, if you give thanks and praise, and if your speech is edifying.  Man believes with his heart and so he is justified.  He confesses with his lips and so he is saved.  In the beginning of his speech, the just man is his own accuser, next he gives glory to God, and thirdly, if his wisdom extends that far, he edifies his neighbor.”
“Is his own accuser” --- he is humble.  “Gives glory to God” --- he prays and trusts.  “Edifies his neighbor” --- evangelizes, does not keep wisdom to himself as if it were some personal secret, but readily speaks to -- and prays with -- his neighbor, wherever he meets him.
Very good messages and words this morning, and much to think and pray on.

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