When we have to go beyond our means

By Fr. Roy Cimagala


IT’S, of course, commonsensical that if we want to avoid trouble in our life, we should learn to live within our means. We need to do careful budgeting of our resources, to see that not only would we survive but, more importantly, that we can manage to duly attend to all our needs. We should avoid being extravagant, wasteful, spendthrift, because living beyond our means can only lead us to disaster, sooner or later.

But there are times when we need to go beyond our means. This is when out of love and in situations of extreme necessity or urgent and emergency needs, we just have to do whatever we can, regardless of whether we have the means for them or not. We should just plunge into the challenge.

In these cases, we can still count on some means that are actually always with us, and they never run out. Sad to say, these means are often disregarded or are considered of little or no value at all. That’s unfortunate because these means are actually the most powerful and dependable of all the means we can have.

I am referring to our spiritual and supernatural means, namely, the grace of God who never spares in giving it to us as long as we live by faith, hope and charity that are supported by a working life of piety. More than just means, they are actually our greatest treasure that we can never run out of. Neither can they be spoiled, stolen or lost.

That is why Christ said: “Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Mt 6,19-20)

It’s important that we realize that more than storing the necessary material goods to help us in our material needs, we should store up more of these spiritual means by constantly strengthening and deepening our faith, hope and, most of all, our charity. The spiritual means have priority over the material means, since the former have limitless effectiveness while the latter can only go so far.

We should be always asking for the grace of God, even if we know that God will always give it to us unsparingly. That is how God is, since he is full of love and mercy. And let’s accompany that petition with the appropriate virtues of fortitude, generosity, magnanimity, patience, etc.

When we have such faith, hope and charity that are ably supported by virtues and the appropriate lifestyle, we can always manage to stay confident and optimistic all throughout our life, in both the good times and the bad times, the ups and downs, the twists and turns of our life. Nothing can disturb us actually. And we can manage to stay focused on doing what is most essential in our life.

We need to spread this Good News about these abundant spiritual and supernatural means that we can always avail of. People nowadays, especially in our current condition where many find themselves in dire need, have to know about the power of these means that are all there for the taking. They are all for free, gratis. It is just faith in God that holds the key.

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