Pope Benedict XVI, in one of his World Youth Day messages, said: "It is incumbent upon religious people to demonstrate that it is possible to find joy in living simply and modestly, generously sharing one's surplus with others."

This comment strikes me as both balanced and extremely important, especially given our present financial crisis in the U. S.  Money is a tool given to us by God to accomplish responsibilities that he has entrusted to us. When money is viewed as an end in itself unhealthy desires will grow. The Catholic Catechism (No. 2536) says: "Our thirst for another's goods is immense, infinite, never quenched. Thus it is written: 'He who loves money never has money enough.'"

There are many philosophies among Christians about making, managing and giving money. There are a clearly a number of legitimate, and illegitimate, ways to make money. I think the pope's counsel is wise to keep before us regardless of the way we seek to make wealth.

We have clearly overextended ourselves as a society, or should we say many of us have personally overextended ourselves, which now impacts the whole of our country. The government is also involved in this matter since it manages the money supply. When it creates huge debt this obviously presents major problems.

We are all stewards of divine providence. In no area is this more apparent than in gaining and spending money. Maybe this is why the Lord has so much to say about it. We ignore the wisdom of ancient Scripture to our peril.

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  1. Cody C. Lorance October 11, 2008 at 11:05 am

    “Money is a tool given to us by God to accomplish responsibilities that he has entrusted to us.”
    Speaking as a very biased, poor, missionary I couldn’t agree more. Just on the phone last night with a dear friend who is in the business world. One of his greatest concerns right now is how he can rearrange his life and business so as to maximize the amount of money he can give to Kingdom work. Here’s a guy who actually seeks to live off of half or less of his actual income so that he can give the rest away– whether that means not having cable TV or internet in his home or living in smaller home to begin with. I know there have to be others like that out there. I just wish there were more.
    I know its an old saying, but it comes to mind a lot when I think of the financial barriers our ministry faces for accomplishing the work God has laid on our hearts — “The good news is that God already has everything you need to do what He’s called you to do. That bad news is that it’s still in the pockets of His people.”

  2. James K October 11, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    “–I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Phil 4:12)
    I think this is Apostle Paul’s secret to enjoy true financial freedom. They say this week is one of the worst week in wall street since Great Depression. To adjust our attitude toward money is the secret of happiness in this time of anxiety. Many countries are blaming America for global economic meltdown. Maybe it is a right time to decide to live simply and modestly.

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