by Father Robert Gamel, an anointed little book on various fascinating mysteries of life: the gift of faith, purification, suffering, attacks from the diabolical, anointing the sick, miraculous accounts, the origin of death, the path of death, homosexuality, conflict between the world and the Church and more! CLICK HERE
USING THE GIFTS WE ARE GIVEN TO SERVE CAUSE OF GOD IS WHAT BRINGS US TRUE, LASTING PEACE
Make sure you search for your mission life. It takes prayer. A new year is a good time to start it. Let this year be another step away from materialism. Use your gifts from God. Remember to never focus on wealth or money.
Often we see wealthy people and wonder why they have been so greatly “rewarded” for ventures that are purely selfish. On the surface it is almost miraculous. They have a power that we don’t. They can send their kids to the Ivy League. They can afford to travel whenever they feel the urge. Cars are toys to them. They seem to have it all. They don’t worry about paying the electric bill. It seems like a charmed life.
But most often wealth is a burden, even a curse. When used for selfish purposes it puts us out of touch with the Plan of God, and the life of someone who is out of God’s plan is a life of “wonders” that are superficial. All of what we have and are belongs to God, and in some way must be made to serve Him. How we handle our money affects how much God will bless us. “If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth,” says Scripture, “who will trust you with true riches?”
Forget about trying to be a cross between holy and worldly.
When God reviews your life and asks what you have done, He won’t be very impressed if you say, “Well, I took the money and bought myself a mansion. I also bought myself a Bentley. I bought the largest yacht and parked it in front of another mansion that was my summer home.”
Can you imagine how God will respond to that, and how the billionaire will feel when the Lord explains that the money had been earmarked for God’s purposes?
There is the expression that money is the root of all evil, but a better translation is probably that “money is the root of all kinds” of evil. The real root of all evil is lack of love, and when we lack love it is often because of our pride. Pride explains many evils that money cannot (like using another for lustful purposes) and even sits at the root of the love for money. It causes everything from family arguments to war. In fact the manifestations of pride are astounding. It can take the form of anger, selfishness, hypersensitivity, feuding, fear, and a short temper. When we’re angry we should ask ourselves why we are angry; when we’re impatient, we should ask ourselves why we are impatient; when we’re fearful, we should ask ourselves why we are fearful; when we are hateful, we should ask ourselves why we are hateful; when we’re depressed, we should investigate what is depressing or confusing us – what is causing the anxiety.
Often the answer is “pride.” How is this so? We may be angry because someone has insulted us, and that goes to pride because the insult has infringed on our high opinion of ourselves. We may be impatient because we feel that our time is more valuable than another’s. We may be fearful because something threatens our standing, and we may be hateful because others have more than we do and we feel we deserve more than they do (this is jealousy). We may be anxious because something is threatening our reputations.
Without the right motives, anything we have that makes us proud becomes a danger to the soul and while there may be cash in the bank or a Hummer in the driveway, or a fur to wear, the gratifications eventually will evaporate.
In the void will come an obsession. Many homeless people are happier than multi-millionaires because they don’t have that kind of burden. Mother Teresa once called the U.S. the “poorest” nation on earth specifically because of its materialism. Are there good rich people? Of course. There are holy rich people. I’ve met them. But holiness is very difficult when there is money because possessions blind us. They block miracles as they place our focus on the physical and cause us to try turning earth into Heaven.
Sudden windfalls such as winning the lottery or coming into an inheritance does deliver a jolt of happiness, but it's usually fleeting. Studies of multimillion-dollar lottery winners have shown that negatives prevailed for many, with higher rates of alcoholism, divorce, loss of friends, and isolation. A surprising number of “winners” were broke within a decade after their windfall.
A University of Illinois psychologist named Ed Dierner found no difference when he compared the overall well-being of millionaires and billionaires on the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans with Maasai herdsmen in East Africa (who live in mud huts and wear pieces of tire for shoes). In parts of the Caribbean people are so poor that they resort to mixing dirt with saltwater for food and yet exhibit great gratitude to God for what little they have -- a gratitude that brings them the miracle of happiness.
Of course, that’s an extreme. Perhaps the best guide is in Scripture: “Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die: put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need” (Proverbs 30:7-8).
You get the point: you don’t need baggage. And you certainly don’t need pride. Self-esteem is one thing; haughtiness is another. There are times that you probably get angry or impatient because of the pride in others. A person who thinks quite a lot of himself may take his time at the automatic teller, letting you wait. This may get your goat because it is hooking into your own remnants of pridefulness. When evil connects with us, it is doing so because it has found a common path. Without pride, a whole new world opens up to us, a world that’s focused on God and releases His love – which is the Force of all that is wondrous and the root of all good and every prayer that is answered.
[adapted from The God of Miracles]