“Open-handed, he gives to the poor; his justice stands firm for ever.” Psalm 112:9


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.

3 comments on ““Open-handed, he gives to the poor; his justice stands firm for ever.” Psalm 112:9

  1. Jennifer says:

    Dr. Tom, so many tears… (or as my littlest one asks, Mommy, are you giving your eyes a bath?)
    Thank you for sharing this prayer. I have always read St. Francis’ infamous prayer from the perspective of a “strong” person nobly sharing with the “weak”. JMT’s interpretation, that it it precisely at our weakest that we would pray to be given the chance to share what we are lacking puts a God-sized stamp of supernatural grace that is frankly blowing my mind right now. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. How great is our God!

  2. number one sinner. says:

    Dear Canadian J. Fr. Corapi used to say that that it’s much easier to have GOD mold and shape us from a lump of soft clay than to have our faults chipped from a granite block. I haven’t been with the dr. Kneel group very long, but your past confessions of being a purple robed noble that was perched high atop that ” granite block” w h o through the Grace of GOD has allowed people to see your weaknesses and become that lump of clay has given this woeful sinner hope . I look forward to your next shared confession,thank you Jennifer.
    PBWY. n.o.s.

    • Jennifer says:

      Oh my goodness, n.o.s., what a gracious thing to tell me. You have no idea how deeply that touches my heart. I was just talking to a retired priest tonight about how (believe it or not) very uncomfortable i feel acknowledging my vulnerability and how grateful I was/am for the unfathomable grace that is being treated with dignity and respect by people like yourself, Dr. Tom, and others here, in these revelations and not made to feel ashamed. Peace be with you, too. I pray that I will treat others with the grace and mercy with which you have treated me. thank you, friend.

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