A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Why the recession happened

There are many things that led to the recession that has been afflicting the world: people wanting to buy houses they could not afford (with the encouragement and facilitation of sellers and lenders), speculators and financial companies wanting quick profits without true substance, the selling of complex financial instruments little understood by their purchasers and having ephemeral value, short-sighted corporate management, government confusion, etc. etc. etc

The bottom line as to why the recession happened, however, is simple and is stated eloquently in this warning by Saint Paul in today’s first reading (1 Timothy 6:2c-12):

Those who want to be rich
are falling into temptation
and into a trap
and into many foolish and harmful desires,
which plunge them into ruin and destruction.

For the love of money is the root of all evils,
and some people in their desire for it
have strayed from the faith
and have pierced themselves with many pains.

Just before that, he also reminds us,

For we brought nothing into the world,
just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it.

If we have food and clothing,
we shall be content with that.

Money cannot buy happiness, no matter what the world says.

The words of today’s Psalm (49:6-7, 8-10, 17-18, 19-20) reinforce the message:

Yet in no way can a man redeem himself,
or pay his own ransom to God;
Too high is the price to redeem one’s life;
he would never have enough
to remain alive always and not see destruction.

Fear not when a man grows rich,
when the wealth of his house becomes great,
For when he dies, he shall take none of it;
his wealth shall not follow him down.

Though in his lifetime
he counted himself blessed,
“They will praise you for doing well for yourself,”
He shall join the circle of his forebears
who shall never more see light.

There is, of course, an alternative to the traps of greed and death, as Saint Paul also reminds us at the end of the first reading:

But you, man of God, avoid all this.
Instead, pursue righteousness,
and gentleness.

Compete well for the faith.

Lay hold of eternal life,
to which you were called
when you made the noble confession
in the presence of many witnesses.

We need to avoid the traps of greed and selfishness and live lives of truth and faith by the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.