Sunday Morning Treasured Musings

August 8, 2010 – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.”
Luke 12:32-48
Another one of my favorite Gospel readings…it’s so important for us to be ready at any moment and to be properly prepared. Earthly treasures will do us no good in heaven, they won’t even help us get there.

So, three things happened this weekend, God is speaking loudly to me about all this stuff in my life. First, there was a yard sale, what was left of my mother’s belongings were laid out on blankets in her front yard. She had moved to an apartment, a smaller space to keep up with and a lot less drama in her life. However, when you move from a two story, four bedroom home that you have lived in for forty years, you find you have accumulated lots of stuff! She took the things that have meaning for her, some things were given away to children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, but the remaining stuff was put out for yard sale. It’s such a final action, it was sad to see her things out there for the world to pick through and then discard as junk. Today’s reading has helped to put it all into perspective, it was and is just earthly stuff and not one of those things makes a difference in the larger scheme of life. Holding on to them would not have insured her a spot in heaven. It’s who she is and what she does and has done in her lifetime that will get her a seat at the heavenly banquet. I just hope she can sit and let someone else wait on her for a change…
The second thing that happened is really not as in your face, but it still amazes me how God ties everything together. After helping at the yard sale I arrive home to find my husband watching on HGTV a program about selling your house. This woman goes around to people who have been trying to unsuccessfully sell their homes and shows them little tricks to improve their odds. What was the biggest advice she gave to each and every one of those homeowners? Declutter! Keep your spaces clean! I look around me and I see clutter, lots of clutter. I didn’t always have all this, I had a time in my life when I was down to one bedroom worth of “stuff”. The things I had were mostly necessities, a bed, dresser, books I was reading and using, just enough clothing for my needs. Funny thing is, I was closer to God then at any other time in my life. I didn’t have a TV, a computer, a cell phone…yet I survived. I was cleaned out, I had no clutter, inside or out. Things changed and I have been blessed with another home-filled with stuff! It happened slowly and steadily, but it happened. Now I look around and I know I am being asked once again to declutter, to come back to that clean space.

Finally, the third thing that was given to me was the following by Deacon Jerry Martinez of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, he was writing about today’s reading as well for a Stewardship newsletter. Very interesting indeed…

The trash we put on the curb to be discarded reveals much about who we are and what we do in life. It contains the packaging of the products that we treasure. It reveals where our hearts are. What is in our trash?
Is it packaging from the latest electronic games, the best type of athletic equipment, the current fashion in clothes (no matter how revealing), the appliances with the most features, containers that held gourmet foods,too many empty liquor bottles and beer cans, and the shredded documents of the fortune we are trying to amass? There are some people whose hearts are not revealed by their trash. They have no trash. Sadly, they have nothing to throw away. They do not have sufficient food and they have very little clothing. We would do well to remember these words of Jesus, “Much will be required of the person who has much, and still more of the person entrusted with more.” When we bring our trash to the curb we should ask, “How much treasure have I been entrusted with? What does this trash reveal about my heart?”

Have a great week…happy cleaning!
May God bless you and keep you,
Marci

Could Adolf Hitler have gone to Heaven?

During his academic years, Pope Benedict noticed that many had a false concept of what conscience is.  In a debate about the justifying force on an erring conscience, the subject of Hitler was brought up. “One colleague suggested the thesis that, if it were generally true that an erring conscience could lead to salvation, then even the SS troops under Hitler would have been justified and would now be in heaven, since they had committed their evil deeds out of fanatical conviction and without the least disturbance to their consciences. Another colleague responded, as if he were stating the most obvious thing in the world: ‘Yes, that is so!’ He argued that there was not the slightest doubt that Hitler and his collaborators were deeply convinced of their cause and could not in fact have acted differently. Therefore, despite all the objective horror of their deeds, they had acted morally, from a subjective perspective. And since they were following their conscience, even though it was misdirected, their conduct must be acknowledge as moral. There is thus no doubt that they attained eternal salvation.” (Excerpt fromValues in a Time of Upheaval by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). . (New York: Crossroad Publishing Co.), 80.)

Do you agree with Cardinal Ratzinger’s colleagues? Why or why not?