As edifying as Jesus' teaching from today's Gospel about the greater merit in God's eyes of the widow's mite, I have to say that my "admiration for piety award" goes to the widow in the Old Testament Book of Kings (1 Kgs 17:10-16) who shares her last scrap of bread and bit of oil with the prophet Elijah, cutting herself and her young son free of the assurance of one last mouth full to show charity. These two women are absolutely great and as caught up in the mystery of God's life in and for the world as I could ever hope to be.
My sister sent me an Edith Stein (another woman who cut herself free and went into God) quote in French (sorry, no footnote or reference):
"Les tournants décisifs de l'histore du monde sont essentiellement conditionnés par des âmes dont aucun manuel d'histoire ne parlera. Et nous-mêmes, nous ne saurons à qui nous devons les tournants decisifs dans notre vie personnelle qu'au Jour où tout ce qui est caché sera révélé."
Even though not touching upon their substance as radically as in the case of the two widows, I had the privilege of witnessing a couple who took a man, a poor stranger, in, giving him work, bread, pocket money, and their love and respect. People like this in our world are certainly many and we thank God for them as did St. Edith Stein, confident as was she that they are the ones who move our world for the better and further the cause of the Kingdom.
This evening I have the first of a couple celebrations for the Feast of St. Martin of Tours: some to a military beat of Martin the young soldier seeking Christ in His guise of poverty and one very personal, recalling an elderly pastor ready to forego heaven for yet a time should his brethren's need exceed his own longing to be with the Lord. I will be hoping and praying these days that we have enough Martins both military and hierarchical to make our world move in charity toward Christ.
PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI