US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Day 20: Fyodor M. Dostoevsky

Christ said, “Go and give all you have to the poor and become the servant of all.”

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Fyodor M. Dostoevsky: Choose to love 
Christ said, “Go and give all you have to the poor and become the servant of all,” for if you do that, you’ll become a thousand times richer because your happiness won’t be made just of good food, rich clothes, satisfied vanity, and appeased envy. Instead it will be built on love, love multiplied by love without end. And then you will gain not just riches, but the whole world!

Today we amass material things without ever satisfying our greed, and then we madly squander all we have amassed. But a day will come when there will be no orphans, no beggars; everyone will be as one of my own family, everyone will be my brother or sister, and that is when I will have gained everything and everyone!

Will we choose to love, or not? (The Adolescent, W.W. Norton)

Reflection questions

1. While the Bible commands us to leave behind all our possessions and follow Christ, not everyone is called to such radical poverty. But the commandment makes us think; how are we called to serve God and others? How do the things we own help us live up to (or keep us from living up to) our Christian mission?

2. Do your material possessions ever get in the way of your relationship with God? How so?

3. What about your relationships with other people? 

4. What material luxuries that could you (or should you) give up?

Dostoevsky (18211881) was the Russian author of The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment.