Someone recently sent the reflection below to me. Don’t know who wrote it, but I found it very lovely. It reminds me of my undergraduate philosophy professor, who, when speaking about Jacques Maritain’s Christian philosophy, said:
There’s a Latin dictum, Nemo dat quod non habet, that can be loosely translated as, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” You might say Jesus put a twist on this saying that completes the thought: Nemo habet quod non dat, “You can’t have what you don’t give.”
At the end of this meditation, I include my favorite John Michael Talbot song, The Peace Prayer of St. Francis.
Lord when I am hungry, give me
someone needing food.
When I am thirsty, send me
someone needing a drink
When I am cold, send me
someone to warm
When I am grieved, send me
someone to console
When my cross grows heavy, let me
carry another’s cross too
When I am poor, lend me
someone in need
When I have no time, give me
someone I can help a little while
When I am humiliated, let me
have someone to praise
When I am disheartened, send me
someone to cheer
When I need understanding, give me
someone who needs mine.
When I need to be looked after, give me
someone to care for
When I think only of myself, draw me
Out of myself to another.