More is less/Less is more … Thursday, January 31

Key Largo (film)

Robinson’s character, Rocky, wanted “more”. What do we want? And why? Key Largo (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Joyful Mystery, the Nativity. “And there were shepherds in the same district. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them.” Luke 2:6,9. A lot of people spend a lot of time wishing they had money, power, position. Some go beyond wishing and put forth great effort to attain these. People who take low-level entry jobs with companies normally have their eyes set on something higher. I remember the movie “Key Largo” with Bogart and Robinson. Robinson played a hood, a mobster with “power”. Bogart made the comment that he knew what Rocky (Robinson) wanted. Robinson countered with something like, “Okay, smart guy, tell us what Rocky wants.” And Bogie answered with, “More. Rocky wants more.” And that describes a large part of humanity. It doesn’t matter what it is, people just want “more”. And a very real question, in light of the Gospel and the lives of saints, is, “Why?” Have you ever noticed that the great majority of people chosen by God for whatever good purpose have been those with “less”, not “more”. The shepherds were the first to see Jesus. Not the Wise Men, they came later. What was David before he was king? What was Peter before Jesus called him to head His Church? What did St. Francis possess, other than God, when he died? Have you ever heard of a religious order called the Rich Clares? Which group of religious take vows of chastity, avarice, and obedience? So, why would ANYONE ever want “more”? The shepherds had next to nothing. Who was it that stood by them in the field? Does the Bible say who it was that stood by Herod, or Pharaoh, or Caesar? It doesn’t say, does it? Maybe no one stood by them because they had “more”, and in having that they had all they thought they needed. And that, that much “more”, was enough in their lives to take up all the space necessary to exclude any angel of the Lord, and the Lord Himself.

Today … St. John Bosco. In 1867 Pope Pius IX was upset with John Bosco because he wouldn’t take his dreams seriously enough. Nine years earlier when Pope Pius IX met with the future saint who worked with neglected boys, he learned of the dreams that John had been having since the age of nine, dreams that had revealed God’s will for John’s life. So Pius IX had made a request, “Write down these dreams and everything else you have told me, minutely and in their natural sense.” Pius IX saw John’s dreams as a legacy for those John worked with and as an inspiration for those he ministered to. Some people inherit money, property, position, a “name”. There’s nothing wrong with those things or having those things. You can put power and riches to good use for God. France was blessed with a king who was a saint. But all in all, well, there were more poverty-stricken saints, in the worldly sense, than rich ones. Like John Bosco, who had little more than dreams. On the other hand, how rich are those who inherit the dreams of saints?

And so …

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158

Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 5:12 am  Comments Off on More is less/Less is more … Thursday, January 31  
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