Using God’s Gifts

Our Wealth Enables The Corporal Works of Mercy

We are familiar with these statements from St. Ambrose: “If you have two shirts in your closet, one belongs to you, the other belongs to the person with no shirt.” We know that we should not hoard for ourselves because everything is a gift from God. But what about our hard earned money, or inheritances? Is it okay to save? Indeed, these are our rightful possessions, and not all of us are called to live a life of radical poverty. Let’s break it down further with the help of St. Thomas Aquinas: “We must distinguish ‘ownership’ and ‘use of private property’.” We have the right to all the wealth God has granted us, but, when it comes to using that wealth, it “is always a matter of the common good, which includes especially Lazarus at your gate.” God entrusts that wealth with us precisely so that we can participate in His works of Mercy.

“God is not pleased with economic inequality, and He burns with a passion to set things right.” –Bishop Robert Barron