Abundance and need…

It is a question of fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. (2 Corinthians 8: 13-14)

If you have ever seen a potter at work, his wheel spinning, hand guiding the clay, you will have noticed what a crucial part balance plays in the process. The moment the balance is lost, centrifugal force flings the clay off the wheel, and the potter has to begin again. I feel this is a fairly apt analogy for our world today. That inequity, inequality, and imbalance are at play in the world, is a glaring understatement. We are spinning off-kilter and it is only a matter of time before we fling ourselves off the wheel completely.

St. Paul tells us that “the love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Timothy 6:10). This saying is reinforced by a little-known eighth century monk named Autpertus, whose teachings on morals originally intended for his monks have new relevance in our day. He referred to greed “as the root of all evil, the only root of all the vices…” Pope Benedict XVI, in one of his general audiences, commented on this saint’s writings, saying, “In the light of the present global economic crisis, this analysis reveals all of its relevance: we see, in fact, that it is precisely from this root of greed that the entire crisis was born.”

This obscure monk could have been teaching twenty-first century penitents when he said:

“The disdain of the world becomes important in their spirituality, a disdain not for the beauty of creation, but for the false view of the world presented to us by greed, which insinuates that possessing and appearing to be wealthy are the highest values of our existence…Even for those who are not monks, the Lord has proposed only two paths, one narrow and one wide, one steep and one easy.”

Society has reached a tipping point and we know how we got here. Can there be any doubt that the world as we knew it is passing away? Yet there is hope. The Lord has not left us orphans, but has been preparing us through the writings of popes and prophets, and saints, through dreams and visions. Our Lord has been preparing us through fasting and prayer, to trust in his Divine Mercy. He is with us and he loves us.

It may be that we will need to band together as they did in the early church so that the needs of all the brothers and sisters in faith are met. The above passage from 2 Corinthians continues: “As it is written, ‘The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.’” Catholic social teaching at its roots.

We read in Exodus, that it was forbidden for the Israelites to gather more manna than they needed for the day. Why? God did not want them to depend on the manna, he wanted them to depend on HIM. He wanted them to know and believe that each day he would provide manna for them. Collecting more than a day’s worth of manna implied a lack of trust in God’s providence. This call to trust in God’s providence is echoed in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day, our daily bread.” Not this week, not this year. This day.

St. Faustina taught us to pray, “Jesus I trust in you.” I believe that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us in these days what we are to do. Let us not be anxious or afraid, but remain docile to the voice of the Spirit speaking to our hearts. Pray and be at peace. Jesus in Mary, we trust in you.

Let us continue to pray for each other and for the whole world.

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