July 12, 2010

The "theology of a Donkey"

Try to remember what a donkey is like — now that so few of them are left. Not an old, stubborn, vicious one that would give you a kick when you least expected, but a young one with his ears up like antennae. He lives on a meagre diet, is hardworking and has a quick, cheerful trot. There are hundreds of animals more beautiful, more deft and strong. But it was a donkey Christ chose when he presented himself to the people as king in response to their acclamation. For Jesus has no time for calculations, for astuteness, for the cruelty of cold hearts, for attractive but empty beauty. What he likes is the cheerfulness of a young heart, a simple step, a natural voice, clean eyes, attention to his affectionate word of advice. That is how he reigns in the soul.
Christ is Passing By, 181

Oh blessed perseverance of the donkey that turns the water-wheel! Always the same pace. Always the same circles. One day after another: everyday the same. Without that, there would be no ripeness in the fruit, nor blossom in the orchard, nor scent of flowers in the garden. Carry this thought to your interior life.
The Way, 998

Would that you could acquire, as I know you would like to, the virtues of the donkey! Donkeys are humble, hard-working, persevering — stubborn! — and faithful, with a sure step, tough and — if they have a good master — also grateful and obedient.
The Forge, 380

Continue thinking about the donkey’s good qualities and notice how in order to do anything worth while, it has to allow itself to be ruled by the will of whoever is leading it... On its own the donkey would only... make an ass of itself. Probably the brightest thing that would occur to it to do would be to roll over on the ground, trot to the manger and start braying. “Dear Jesus”, you too should say to him, “ut iumentum factus sum apud te! — you have made me be your little donkey. Please don’t leave me: et ego semper tecum! — and I will stay with you always. Lead me, tightly harnessed by your grace: Tenuisti manum dexteram meam... — you have led me by the halter; et in voluntate tua deduxisti me... — make me do your Will. And so I will love you for ever and ever — et cum gloria suscepisti me! ”
The Forge, 381

My child, my little donkey: if the Lord, with Love, has washed your grimy back, so accustomed to the muck, and has laid a satin harness on you, and covered you with dazzling jewels, don’t forget, poor donkey, that with your faults you could throw that beautiful load on to the ground... But on your own you couldn’t put it back on again.
The Forge, 330

See how humble Jesus is: a donkey was his throne in Jerusalem!
The Way, 606

I understood you very well when you ended up saying: “Quite honestly, I haven’t even made the grade of being a donkey — the donkey that was the throne of Jesus when he entered Jerusalem. I’m just part of a disgusting heap of dirty tatters that the poorest rag-picker would ignore.” But I told you: all the same, God has chosen you and wants you to be his instrument. So your wretchedness — which is a genuine fact — should turn into one more reason for you to be thankful to God for calling you.
The Forge, 607

Roman Catholic Saint - Josemaria Escriva

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