instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Another reason I don't have disciples

My parables lack the deft touch:
A man returned from a long journey, and called his stewards to settle their accounts. The first steward came before him and said, "Master, when you left, you gave me ten talents. See, I have used them to earn you ten talents more." And he presented him with twenty talents.

The master replied, "What about the rest?"

The servant answered him, "The rest?"

"Yes, the rest. I sent you a talent a month while I was gone. What profit have you made from them?"

"A talent a month?" The steward was confused. "You mean... did you... was that what was in all those letters? I... I didn't... that is to say, I never quite got around to opening those letters, exactly. I was, ah, occupied with the talents... the, the first batch of talents, if you see what I mean, the ones I... I knew about."

"So what did you do with all the letters I sent you?" asked the master.

"Well, I... they're in my office. I sort of thought we would, you know, go over them when you returned. After you, you know, praised me for doing such a good job with... with the talents you had given me... to begin with, you see."

And the master answered him, "By my accounts, I gave you ten talents before I left, and ninety more while I was gone. You show me a profit of ten talents for the hundred I gave you, and you expect to be praised? The postage alone cost me ten talents."

And the master sent the steward out, having appointed him the household boot-polisher, which wasn't what you'd consider a promotion, seeing as everyone in the household wore sandals.
St. Catherine of Siena teaches us that the soul is always moving, either toward God or away from Him. I suppose this can be resolved with the sense of idling in spiritual neutral, of apparently neither approaching nor moving away from God, by considering the fact that God is always giving us graces, which we are expected to use to our good and the good of our neighbor. What we fail to do today is greater than what we failed to do yesterday by the amount of graces we have received but left unused since yesterday.