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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lilies More Than Bread

(Still Life by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1598-1664, Spanish

“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” ~ Matthew 6:3-4


(for a philanthropist)

Go not empty-hearted
Into the marts of men,
The brightest coin will darken
And lose its luster when
The hand that gives is loveless
And folds in pride again.

There is a spirit-hunger
Sharper than body’s need;
There is an infinite thirsting
For cups of wisdom’s mead;
While on the rim of laughter
A stricken heart may bleed.

With bread and cooling water
The body’s feast is spread;
Not so the straining spirit’s
That will be housed and fed
By love more than a roof-tree,
And lilies more than bread.

~ Thérèse Lentfoehr (1902-1981), American poet, editor, and Thomas Merton scholar


Barbara Sullivan Mangogna said...

That is so beautiful, and so true. Just the thought we need to neutralize the buying frenzy of the season. Barbara

kiki latimer said...

"Hyacinths" by Sheikh Moslih Eddin Saadi
> If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft
> And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
> Sell one and with the dole,
> Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul