ST. FRANCIS ASSISI: THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TO MONEY

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The world over is bewildered with a new culture which is not unknown to the history of mankind for its disastrous effects. It is a culture that promotes the ideal of acquiring the newest commodity (the culture of materialism/consumerism), the culture of pursing the achievement of the highest pleasure and comfort as man’s ultimate end and good (hedonism) and lastly the love of oneself (narcissism).  These are the foundational reasons why people do or promote abortion, contraceptives, euthanasia, suicide, same-sex “marriage” and other ugly tenets of the culture of death.

In the world of persons that are immersed in materialism, hedonism and narcissism, they are the only ones that exist and only their will reigns supreme. As such any other human being who exists is either a means to help achieve their selfish goal or an obstacle which has to be eliminated.

This is why a woman under the guise of feminism – in other to show men that she is a competitor who has to be feared – doesn’t marry nor give birth, since child-bearing would be an obstacle towards reaching the peak of her profession.

Those who love their body so much, also see pregnancy as a “disease” which makes them lose their shape and beauty, so they prefer surrogate motherhood or no motherhood at all.

Many also in a bid to “enjoy” life, that is a life filled with material possessions and luxury goods and a lot of time for themselves, prefer to use contraceptives in other to give birth to few/ hardly any child (ren) so that their “enjoyment” will go unlimited.

Also in a bid to enjoy a life free from pain, sorrow or suffering, many commit suicide; others obtain euthanasia for their parents or relatives, since they consider their supposedly loved ones to be burdensome to their time, money and love.

All these ugly lifestyles have made the world no better, it has created a world where there is no true friendship, the so-called “friends” see in the other a stepping stone towards achieving his/her personal goal. The word love has been misconstrued to mean immediate sex and enjoyment; no longer commitment or fidelity. This is the world we live in today.

A civilisation of hatred, selfishness and fear. All because we have tied our hopes, joys, happiness and success to money. Gradually we have succeeded in making money a god.

Today we celebrate a great man -St. Francis of Assisi- who calls us to have a rethink. The young and handsome Francis was born in Italy to a rich cloth merchant. Like most high spirited wealth young men, he loved, parties, the finest clothes and spent money freely. And he continued this lifestyle until God called him to act as a new leaven in a society then sliding further away from spiritual values because of its attachment to material goods.

The virtue of poverty for the ordinary Christian -like you and me- is based on detachment from material goods, confidence in God, sobriety and the willingness to share with others. Poverty is a virtue everyone – kings, queens, presidents, politicians, religious, priests, mothers, lawyers, and students have to live.

The virtue of poverty does not entail, going naked or dressing shabbily and dirty with no food or shelter and always begging.

Poverty is a great virtue of life. It is a virtue which demands from us to get the things we need, avoiding luxuries and frivolous expenditure, as well as maintaining things well so that they last. With poverty one’s heart is free from material possession and the constant urge to continue buying. When lived well, the person stops being myopic and starts seeing that there are persons who need, more than money, our time, our care, our love. These are acts that make men very happy. The example of Mother Teresa is a testimony to this.

When one loves, which comes through living the virtue of poverty, he/she understands the need to care for the sick, and realise that children are not burdens but are gifts of joy and happiness.

Let us turn our civilisation of hatred and selfishness into a civilisation of love. Love of neighbour is a realistic principle which demands that our existence should be a personification of service and compassion.

When this is achieved we will ultimately eliminate the selfish culture of death.

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