Having worked in ministry or ministry adjacent jobs all of my life, I was never raking in a substantial income. Anyone who has had their primary income from a parish or a Catholic School knows that you are in it for the vocation, not financial security. In my case, I have worked at both venues at various times for a total of ten years. 

During those years, my wife and I were generally responsible with our money, but whenever it came to affording the next big necessary spend, it always put stress in our hearts. Student loans, buying a house, upgrading to a minivan, putting kids in Catholic school were all significant expenses that came with a growing family. Yet, each and every time that we appealed to God to help us, He came through. It took us time to trust Him, especially in tithing. But when we took the leap of faith to provide for the needs of the Church, we began to see an abundance of generosity from the Lord. Whether it was through a generous employer, a timely side hustle that fell in our lap, or unexpected cash gifts, God came through, and continues to come through every time. Not to the point of us lavishly getting to spend money, but rather giving us just enough to fulfill the needs of a family that is striving to put God first in every aspect of our lives. My wife and I have now gotten to the point where we no longer question when aid will come, but rather we examine ourselves to see if we can make fiscal change, and then we prepare ourselves to be open to however God desires to provide for us. Though we are imperfect examples, we are striving to take seriously Jesus’ words from the sermon on the mount: Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be given to you (Matthew 6:33).

Yet, material security is not the goal of this life, and we have started to see a curious thing occur in our family now. With a generally healthy trust that God will take care of our material needs, times of spiritual and emotional trials have popped up. Yet, in moments of duress where our family may have been at odds with each other or with the persecuting situation in the past, we have now grown in trust that God will pull us through. In fact, we have taken to heart the fact that not only is He guiding us through, but that He is allowing us to be refined in love for Him and those around us. Essentially, God has taken our family deeper once we let go of the prior material worries that were holding us back. He is showing us that not only does He take care of the physical, but more importantly He desires to refine the spiritual to give us new hearts (Ezekiel 36:26)

This is what God does. He uses the material world to prove His love for us, and once He has our attention, He draws our spirit into deeper love and trust in Him. But we must be ready, and we must desire it. We cannot be satisfied with a prosperity gospel. We must not be satiated by God taking care of our physical needs. Rather, we must desire to go deeper to the point that our soul recognizes Him as a loving Father who only wants to be with His children. Our culture will tell us that they way to happiness is fiscal security, but that is worldly wisdom. The beginning of true wisdom is a fear of the Lord (Proverbs 9:10) and a childlike faith that abides in the shadow of the almighty (Psalm 91:1)  in both prosperity and adversity.



At the National Eucharistic Congress, Decided Excellence Catholic Media - with the help of Bishop William Waltersheid - will be presenting "Beautiful Revelation: The Eucharistic Timeline". Throughout human history, God has left repeated proof of His presence in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Salvation. God has given us the wisdom. Have you taken the time to understand? Read this spiritual journey through time to examine critical moments that God uses to reveal the truth of the Body of Christ.

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