Sanctification in Daily Work
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The Stimulus Temptation

I don’t know if you’ve already received them but I’m getting spam emails from law firms claiming they can help me get my share of the stimulus money. Our local paper proudly proclaimed today that “Mo. could get $4.4B from stimulus.” Now that this thing has passed we’re already seeing the money grab begin. Yesterday’s local paper had a story on how our transportation department was hoping to get almost a billion dollars and that they were already working on a spending plan.

So, we have sectors of our economy suffering because of poor decisions on the part of both consumers and companies that has placed them so far in debt they’re having to take drastic measures such as bankruptcy and now our government thinks the answer is to put the whole nation in debt as a way to fix things? Does that make sense to you? Not to me.

Our elected officials have passed a plan that apparently no one, including themselves, really understands. What little I’ve seen leaves so much leeway in how this fictitious money is to be spent that I’m afraid we’re in for years of stories of misappropriated funds and investigations. There’s just too much temptation being thrown at us.

I hope and pray for our country and our society both now and as we move forward. I can’t help but believe that instead of solving a problem we’ve just thrown gasoline on the fire.

Where’s The Crisis

This morning’s radio news contained the word, crisis, several times. In referring to the economy the announcer said that there’s only one solution. He then played a one word sound bite from the President’s speech last night which was, “Government.” Yeah. Right. So I had to look up the definition of crisis and here’s how Merriam Webster Online defines it:

1 a: the turning point for better or worse in an acute disease or fever b: a paroxysmal attack of pain, distress, or disordered function c: an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life (a midlife crisis) 2: the decisive moment (as in a literary plot) 3 a: an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending ; especially : one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome (a financial crisis) b: a situation that has reached a critical phase (the environmental crisis)

I’ve been thinking lately that this has got to be the most overused word in the media and by politicians today. Think of: economic crisis, moral crisis, dietary crisis, world crisis, water crisis, food crisis, gas crisis, etc., etc. ad nauseum. Do you feel pity for these people or do you feel like you’re in crisis mode too?

I don’t. I’m wondering if there is a crisis or if perhaps there are a whole lot of people who don’t have faith or are just trying to make us afraid so we make snap decisions without thinking through them. I don’t suggest that there are problems in our economy but there are always fluctuations in business just like the weather. Instead of quaking in fear, a little prayer and quiet meditation about what to do next can really help in a situation like we’re in.

The Communion Antiphon at this morning’s Mass was especially appropriate I thought. Matthew 19: 28-29 RSV.

“Truly, I say to you . . . And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.”

So what is there to worry about? Why rush to make decisions that will have momentous consequences now and for generations to come?