I BELIEVE everyone likes to make money and really to be successful in business or in whatever endeavor he likes to get into. That desire is part of our nature, and is even sanctioned in the Bible when God told Adam and Eve to go and dominate the world. Making money is part, not of course the whole, of what is meant by dominating the world.
I also believe that of all the businesses and endeavors we can get involved in, the most important and the one that would take care of all our other projects is that of taking care of our spiritual life.
We need to be very good, shrewd businessmen in that area, an excellent, most creative and visionary entrepreneurs in that field. And the basis for this assertion can be that passage in the gospel where Christ says:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” (Mt 13,46)
In another part of the gospel, Christ talks of the parable of the talents that shows how he wants all of us to profit from the gifts he has given us. (cfr Mt 25) Those who do good business with their talents would be rewarded generously. Those who do nothing with their talents would be punished.
Obviously, like in any business, to be successful in our spiritual life, we would have to make a lot of investments. I would say that in this spiritual business, there is no danger in being lavish with our investments, since unlike in our worldly businesses, this one is sure and guaranteed, whatever may be their outcome in merely human terms.
That basis for that assertion are the words of Christ himself when he said that we have to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbor as ourselves. It’s commandment that is perfected with what he calls as the new commandment: to love one another as he has loved us. And that’s a love that goes all the way to death on the cross.
We need to be keenly aware then that everyday we should be ready to make some investments in terms of prayers, sacrifices, self-denials, development of virtues, more recourse to the sacraments, more grounding in the knowledge of our faith, etc., in view of the potential dividends we can reap later on that are already guaranteed by Christ himself.
We should have this kind of mentality if we are truly serious with our spiritual life. Our usual problem is that we often take this duty for granted, putting ourselves many times under the delusion that we can achieve holiness only with good intentions but without the appropriate deeds.
And this duty can be carried out any time. It can always take advantage of any situation we may be in. And since ordinarily, our situation would just involve little things and affairs of our daily routine, this duty can and should be lived in those circumstances.
The investments needed may just be a matter of more patience, more hope and optimism when the going gets a little rough, or giving more impulse of perseverance in our prayer when we feel a bit dry and uninspired to talk with God…
It may even be the resolution to smile more, to be more cheerful and positive in outlook and speech, if only to prop up an otherwise heavy atmosphere or drooping mood because of some unpleasant events. It may just be the resolve to give ourselves a little less comfort if only to follow what Christ said about entering by the narrow gate and avoiding the wide one.
Sanctity, heroism and generosity need not involve extraordinary occasions to show themselves. They can and should be pursued and lived precisely in our little day-to-day affairs. That’s where we usually meet God, and where we prepare ourselves to meet and follow him when the circumstances demand extraordinary faith and effort on our part.
Remember what Christ said: “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. And he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.” (Lk 16,10)
Don’t you think this is the best business we can get into, since it’s what brings us to our ultimate end, and since it is very much doable and is guaranteed, besides, of success, by Christ himself?
May we be generous with our spiritual investments then! The promised dividends are sure, tremendous and lasting.