Something very upbeat to start the week, I think. Here is Georg Philipp Telemann’s Concerto in D major for trumpet and strings.
“Why is it,” said the rich man to his minister, “that people call me stingy when everyone knows that when I die I’m leaving everything to the church?”
“Let me tell you a fable about the pig and the cow,” said the minister. “The pig was unpopular while the cow was beloved. This puzzled the pig. ‘People speak warmly of your gentle nature and your sorrowful eyes,’ the pig said to the cow. ‘They think you’re generous because each day you give them milk and cream. But what about me? I give them everything I have. I give bacon and ham. I provide bristles for brushes. They even pickle my feet! Yet not one likes me. Why is that?'”
“Do you know what the cow answered?” said the minister. “The cow said, ‘Perhaps it is because I give while I’m still living.'”
Redemption Road by my friend and fellow Irish Jesuit, Brendan McManus, tells the story of how he walked the five hundred miles or so of the Camino de Santiago in memory of his brother Donal, who had died by suicide.
It is a deeply personal account but in sharing with us his experiences and insights we, too, learn valuable lessons. Here’s a little passage:
Ignatius believed that the worst sin was ingratitude. If we could fully understand all the blessings and love God has given us, we wouldn’t act out of fear of selfishness.
To combat ingratitude, Ignatius calls us to name and savor what we’re grateful for — in my case, everything from chocolate croissants to Consuelo’s hospitality. In this way, we live in God’s love and act differently.