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The Catholic Moment: $timulu$ toward Ba$ic$

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

By Father Rob Waller

The stated mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is “to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation … as more and more first-time investors turn to the markets to help secure their futures, pay for homes, and send children to college.”

We now chuckle for calling our investments “securities.” We were short-sighted to expect to find security in the market. We know it can only be found in God. When we hear “exchange,” we think of Jesus saying, “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life?”

In the current economic crisis what can our losses help us to find? What changes — and exchanges — are we being forced to make? Might the losses and changes actually help us regain the life that we have forfeited? We can hope so, as we trust more in God and less in the dollar.

What will we do now? We will stop spending what we do not have and buying what we do not need. Not being able to hold on to what we had, we will loosen our grip on what is left. In worrying about our mortgages, we will have a heart for the homeless; in wondering about our health care and jobs, we will have compassion for the uninsured and unemployed; in looking ahead to how we will send our children to college, we notice children not getting the most elementary of education.

With less money to spend on family, we will spend more time with family, eating at home rather than out and on the run. We will think more about how we can help than what we are entitled to receive; more about what we can give than what we deserve to get. Having less, we will give more. We will know compassion, gratitude and simplicity. We will grow closer together and more in touch with God.

Take courage. Keep hope. Be grateful. Stay humble. Grace happens.

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