When St. John Bosco told his mother, a poor widow, that he planned to become a priest, she told him, “If you have the misfortune to get rich, I shall not set foot in your house again.”
When Thomas Merton, in 1949, wrote to the class of Sister Marialein Lorenz,
“I believe sometimes that God is sick of the rich people and the powerful and wise men of the world and that He is going to look elsewhere and find the underprivileged, those who are poor and have things very hard; even those who find it most difficult to avoid sin; and God is going to come down and walk among the poor people of the earth, among those who are unhappy and sinful and distressed and raise them up and make them the greatest saints and send them walking all over the universe with the steps of angels and the voices of prophets to bring his light back into the world again.”
When Jesus spoke in the synagogue at Nazareth of the mercy of God even for a foreign widow from Sidon and a foreign general from Syria (Luke 4: 21-30), his hearers wanted to throw him off a cliff.
The foreigners, the widows, the poor hold a special place in God’s love. We who are rich need to be more carful and caring, opening our hearts (and our pocketbooks) to the poor, being with them, sharing their joys and sorrows.
Isn’t this what real love, God’s love, is all about.
Today is the feast of Don Bosco who died in 1888 and the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Merton in 1915.