We are on this earth for a purpose. To discover that purpose and fulfil it is our mission in life. The idea of service and a true sense of duty cannot be separated from a fruitful human existence; they are at its very essence. Anyone who fails in these essentials… Will never find the road to self knowledge.

Following St Matthew

But Saint Matthew was exposed to an additional temptation… For he not only possessed, but he was engaged also in the pursuit of wealth….

The danger of possessing riches is the carnal security to which they lead; that of desiring and pursuing them is that an object of this world is thus set before us as the aim and end of life. It seems to be the will of Christ that his followers should have no aim or end, pursuit or business, merely of this world…. It is his will that all we do should be done, not unto men, or to the world, or to self, but to his glory; and the more we are enabled to do this simply, the more favoured we are. Whenever we act with reference to an object of this world, even though it be ever so pure, we are exposed to the temptation – (not irresistible, God forbid!) still to the temptation – of setting our hearts upon obtaining it. And therefore, we call all such objects excitements, as stimulating us incongruously, casting us out of the serenity and stability of heavenly faith, attracting us aside by their proximity from our harmonious round of duties, and making our thoughts converge to something short of that which is infinitely high and eternal….

The pattern of Saint Matthew is our consolation; for it suggests that we… may use great freedom of speech, and state unreservedly the peril of wealth and gain, without aught of harshness or uncharitableness towards individuals who are exposed to it. They may be brethren of the Evangelist, who left all for Christ’s sake. Nay, such there have been (blessed be God!) in every age; and in proportion to the strength of the temptation which surrounds them, is their blessedness and their praise, if they are enabled amid the “waves of the seas” and the “great wisdom of their traffic” to hear Christ’s voice to take up their cross, and follow him.

By Alfred Delp SJ
Advertisements