(Originally posted May 26, 2020)
I remember a discussion many years ago with my son who had just returned from a year of service. At one point he commented “we need to get out of our comfort zone”. I don’t think I said anything, but I remember having a resistance to it…. “gee, I like my comfort zone…. it’s where I’m secure with no stress or risk…where I’m comfortable.”
I’ve been “inching” my way through a book by Cardinal Robert Sarah entitled “The Day Is Now Far Spent”. My comfort zone is getting annihilated page by page. He has a way of going for the jugular on every point. My emotions are bouncing back and forth from “wow – terrific, great point” to “Auuuuuugh – oh no…more conviction”. Nothing is safe. Even areas of my soul that I know the Holy Spirit has made real progress, are getting hammered. If it wasn’t such a great book with wonderful challenges, I’d toss it in the river. My poor comfort zone is taking a severe beating.
Well, as St. Paul said “misery loves company” so let me share a few tidbits with you. (actually I’m pretty sure that St. Paul did not say that, but it does sound right some times.)
Here’s tidbit #1 about money:
“The hearts of many Christians are divided between love of the one true God and veneration of the idol, money…. The love of money is manifested in the excessive worry that it causes. I see people whose standard of living is secure and enviable worrying about the state of their bank accounts.(ref. Luke 6:24) … I think the attachment to material goods is like an anesthesia that prevents us from feeling our hunger for God. One can end up dying of spiritual hunger while thinking that one is full because of the abundance of material goods….Unless we detach ourselves from riches by a sense of gratuitousness and service, they will suffocate us.” (Cardinal Sarah, “The Day Is Now Far Spent”, page 133)
I want to say “ hold on Cardinal, you’re going a bit too far…let’s not overreact…people have to live…I’m not a monk…bla,bla,bla.” Yet, he’s warning us about “anesthesia and suffocation”…which are frightening thoughts.
If I’m honest, maybe some of the “anesthesia” has already been working on me. Maybe I do need some fresh air. Holy Spirit, please open the window a bit and help me to clear my spiritual lungs. I do want to be a steward of your money. Help me to be “detached from riches and be generous.”
Well, I was going to tidbit #2, but I think that’s enough for today.
All I can say is let us always be open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Let us allow the truth to set us free. That’s always good news.