Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's That Time of the Year Again!

The After Christmas “No Money Blues”.

Luke 4:12 Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’”

Years ago, when I came to “know the Lord” as an adult or maybe it would be better to say; “When I had my ‘metanoia‘ experience”. I had some very immature ideas of my relationship with God. I needed to be “mature” in my Faith, as St. Paul refers to our Christianity [Eph. 4:13; Phi. 3:15; Heb. 5:14].

For example: I used to tell people that if I walked out in the middle of a busy street and expected God to protect me from danger He would. I would give that as an example of my Faith.This way of thinking is at least a very immature way of Faith… at worst it goes against Christianity [Lk. 4:12].

And so… we come back to the verse from The Gospel of St. Luke; ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’”

I recently shared with a friend that it would be wrong to expect God to ‘bail you out’ of an imprudent decision. I used the following scenario.

[What you are talking about is like someone going out in front of a speeding car and believing that God will protect them… THAT WOULD GO AGAINST THE VIRTUE OF PRUDENCE.

There would be no need to put yourself in danger.

Now, it would be different if you ran out into speeding traffic to save a child that is in the road and as you go, you ask God to help you… THAT WOULD BE BOTH LOVING, PRUDENT & COURAGEOUS.] (CCC 1808 FORTITUDE or COURAGE = It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause.)

I can easily see, as I hope, you the reader will also see, that one way of maturing in the Christian Faith is to grow in the Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude.

The following is an excerpt from a prayer of St. Thomas; “give me prudence to avoid the snares of the enemy”.

Prudence: “Its function is to point out which course of action is to be taken in any round of concrete circumstances.” (New Advent)

I ‘chalk up’ my ‘earlier’ way of thinking to my immaturity in The Catholic Faith. However… from the Scripture verse quoted, one can readily see that to think the way that I did (that being; unreasonably expecting God to protect someone from an imprudent decision), might actually be a temptation from Satan!

Let me now go to another scenario.

I occasionally have a Christian say something to me like; “I just spend my money and God gives it back to me”. (Many at Christmas do this). Hopefully, the reader can see where I am leading on this point.

Spending/handling money imprudently, is a temptation from Satan, not an act of Faith.

Luke 4:9 Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ 11 and: ‘With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” 12 Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’”
Luke 12:42 And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute (the) food allowance at the proper time?

For more info. on The Four Cardinal Virtues:
New Advent

Catechism of The Catholic Church