"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me" Mark 8:34
Living a stewardship lifestyle means not only being responsible for my own life, but for the lives of others as well. We realize that our gifts are not intended for ourselves, rather they are meant to be shared with others. "Taking up my cross" means doing things when someone else needs me or not when its convenient for me.
A man named Peter inherited a huge land grant, but the will provided that he could choose land in either Chile or Brazil. He chose Brazil. Unhappily, if he had chosen Chile, he would have received his inheritance in land on which they had recently discovered uranium, gold and silver. But he chose Brazil.
When he arrived in Brazil he had to choose between receiving his inheritance in a coffee plantation or land with Brazil nut trees. He chose the nut trees, and immediately the bottom fell out of the nut market, but coffee futures went up two dollars a pound. The government took control of the nut farm for back taxes, and Peter was left destitute.READ MORE
"Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?." James 2:5
What is more important— being rich in faith or rich in possession? Society tells us that possessions are more important. God teaches a different lesson. When we are rich in faith, we keep God first and experience true joy and peace. When we put possessions first, we soon realize we can never have enough and happiness is fleeting. When we put faith over possessions we truly realize it is better to give than receive.
Francois Fenelon, a seventeenth century Roman Catholic writer said this about prayer:
Tell God all that is on your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability.READ MORE
The story of Monica's life is more relevant today than ever, because it is close to the problems we face in our own time.
Using extensive excerpts from the writings of St. Augustine, notable for his Confessions, Giovanni Falbo sheds new light on St. Monica's patience, sweetness, and unwavering determination. This mother never yielded in her efforts to see her beloved son find comfort and peace in God, and she endured countless sacrifices and health risks in her quest to help Augustine embrace the faith. Monica's quiet wisdom and courage, coupled with her earnest tears and prayers to God, bore fruit she could only have dreamed of.READ MORE