Rise above popular opinion; Church Fathers: Day 267

If you look to what other people think of you for your reward, says St. Ambrose, you have your reward here on earth—but you miss the reward of eternal life.

Clearly, blessed is the life that is not valued by the opinion of outsiders, but is known, as judge of itself, by its own inner feelings. It needs no popular opin­ion as its reward in any way; nor has it any fear of punishments. Thus the less it strives for glory, the more it rises above it.

For to those who seek for glory, that reward in the shape of present things is but a shadow of future ones, and is a hindrance to eternal life, as it is written in the Scriptures: “Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward” (Matthew 6:2). This is said of those who with the sound of a trumpet, so to speak, desire to make their generosity to the poor known to all the world. It is the same, too, in the case of fasting, if it is done only for outward show. “They have received their reward,” he says.

It is therefore part of a virtuous life to show mercy and to fast in secret, so that you may seem to be seeking a reward from your God alone, and not from oth­ers. For whoever seeks it from mankind has his reward, but whoever seeks it from God has eternal life, which no one can give but the Lord of Eternity, as it is said: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Thus the scripture plainly says that the blessed life is eternal life. It has not been left to be appraised according to human ideas on the subject, but has been entrusted to the divine judgment. –St. Ambrose, On the Duties of the Clergy, 2.1

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

How much of what I do for the Church is in fact a response to what I want other people to think of me?

Are there ways I could help that no one would know about?

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, renew your perfect love in me, and teach me to see beyond the things of this world to your eternal Kingdom.


Remember to subscribe to my feed so you will not miss a day! This recurring feature at The Catholic Blogger is possible through the cooperation of author Mike Aquilina and publisher Saint Benedict Press. To get your own copy of this book, click below.

"Thank you for this wonderful review! I so appreciate your taking the time to post ..."

You CAN share the faith
"You seem to know a lot about the whole Catholic Church!!!!"

Overcome the things that make you ..."
"The opening line "Insults, thefts, even torture—none of these things do any real harm to ..."

This hurts me more than it ..."
"This is not what the poster is saying. Nor is it what John Chrysostom is ..."

This hurts me more than it ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment