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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana


 
 
 

 

 


WEALTH




 

 

THE UNFAITHFUL STEWARD

A good steward is one who does not give to all but only unto them to whom it is due and unto them to whom it is fitting.  A faithful steward is one who does not appropriate unto himself his master's goods.  He is just a steward;l therefore, he must administer well the things committed to this charge; never to say that his master's things are his own but rather that his own are his master's. 

So Peter rightly asked: "Why do you look at us as if we made this man walk?  We are just men like you."  And Paul adds:  "What do you have that you did not receive?  Neither wealth, nor speech nor life.  For all of these are surely the Lord's."  When the work of God needs it, all must be laid down for OPUS DEI.  Any refusal to lay it down makes you an Unfaithful Steward. 

God's kindness consists in this:  all things being His, He can get it from us without our consent.  But NO; He wants us to give it back to Him freely that which is His that we may have a reward.  Thus, Paul daily gave his life back to God saying, "I die daily".  the fact is, God can take away your life, your glory and your wealth without your consent BUT, He wants you, instead, to willingly give this up that you may earn a crown.  See God's mercy and man's stupidity in opposing His will. 

If, therefore, you have received some dignity in the hierarchy, be not high minded. It is not for your use; use it sparingly, neither abusing it nor using it for an unsuitable purpose.  Do not be puffed up or appropriate this dignity for yourself. 

Are you a good preacher?  Do not be arrogant.  Distribute God's words to all, and when praised for the beauty of the doctrines, do not be elated as if it was your eloquence that was praised. 

If you have children, remember they are God's.  If your thoughts are like this, you will be thankful for having them; and, if you have none, you will not take it too hard. 

See how the words "thine" and "mine" are so meaningless; what is thine today can be gone the next moment or become someone else's. 

So, be strict with yourself; be thankful for what you have and do not be enslaved with things that are fleeting.  All things belong to God; when He calls and takes them back, let us not be like grudging servants flying from the reckoning.  Your soul is not yours, how can your wealth be yours?  For all the things that you have shall be put to trial.  For this, the rich man and Ananias and Saphira were condemned. 

It is only when you see your things for the good of the many that these things become truly yours.  To use them for yourself is to use them cruelly, and they shall not be yours.  The sun is for all, the air is for all; the arm is for the entire body, and so are the legs and the eyes.  And food is for the entire body.  So also must your wealth be for all. 

And so with wealth:  if you enjoy it alone, you will lose it, you will not reap its benefit.  But if you share it, it will become yours and you will reap its benefit.  If the stomach keeps the food it receives, it will be sick.  To be healthy, it must distribute the food to the rest of the body. 

St. Joh Chrysostom, "On Cor."  

 

 

 

 

(07-25-05)

 

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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