Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Mornings with Augustine

Revelation 3:19

Tough Times

Not every gracious person is a friend. Neither is every one who strikes you an enemy. Better are the wounds of a friend than the tender kisses of an enemy. It is better to love with severity than to deceive with gentleness.

Those who restrain the frenzied and those who stir up the lethargic are both offensive and, in both cases, are motivated by love for the patient. Who can love us more than God does? And yet He not only gives us sweet instruction, but also continually stimulates us by healthy fear.

God often adds the sharp medicine of suffering to the soothing remedies He comforts us with. He afflicts even the pious and devout patriarchs with famine, strikes a rebellious nation by even more severe punishments, and refuses to take away the apostle’s thorn in the flesh (although asked to remove it three times) so that He may perfect His strength in weakness.

Let us, by all means, love even our enemies, for this is right. God commands us to do so in order that we may be children of our heavenly Father “who maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” As we praise His gifts, let us also ponder His correction of those whom He loves.

Readings taken from Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers


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