I try & I try each and every day. I work hard. I am honest. I am responsible. I respect other people. I do not cheat, lie or try to pull a scam on anyone. I look around & see many people whose cars are expensive, their clothes are too, and they seem to be talking about this most recent trip, or some trip from this past holiday season. They seem to make it in life, but compared to me, some of them do not impress me with having much respect toward other people. Some sound like they have maybe a sense of superiority, or entitlement, or no need to work. I may be poor but I have good ears.
I think about my dear Lord and all He grants unto me. I can work & so I always have food, clothing, and shelter. I have always had a simple roof over my head, decent health & the determination to never quit or give up. I respect other people naturally because I treat others as I would wish to be treated. I have been blessed with a good family & loving friendships. My family & circle of friends like me, more often than not, are simple people, with modest means. We work hard. We are there for one another. Sure we argue and shout, but at the end of the day, we are there for one another! I have & share such an abundance of blessings!
An old minister once told me that some people who enjoy real material success too often can be people who have no real personal depth. In short, their idea of success is their “scorecard” kept according to society’s materialistic ideas of success. Yet! Right there within them, they have little or no substance. Their daily lives are but one act following another act. Their life is at best superficial and is all about its superficial appearance. In short, they do not know who their “true self” really is. This makes sense. After all, if I do not pursue truth, if I do not dare to ask who I am and who am I meant to become, then just HOW can I really expect to find truth? The old minister told me, “I owe myself truth and to live my life being true to God”. I think he was right.
The world says one is fortunate based on their asset/liability ratio, their accumulation of toys such as, but not limited to, houses, stocks, cars, and expensive suits. I have a roof over my head, food in the cupboard, clothes in my closet and some money to my name. For these great gifts, I humbly give thanks to our dear beloved Father, His only begotten Son, and the indwelling Holy Spirit. For this alone, I give my deep heartfelt thanks unto God all throughout each passing day. Do all people give thanks to God throughout the passing day? I would hope so! Without God, who am I? I cannot create even one ocean, little alone the birds of the air, the crops of the fields, the countless trees in the forests, the heavens above, the vast waterways of this world or its countless hills and mountains. God did all this. Why? I think God did all this and does so much more because His greatest gift to all of humanity remains His love. Without love what good is our world with its modern false gods & the modern godless desires to have more and more material things? His Son was raised as the son of a poor carpenter. This is a good reminder of how fortunate I am.
-Father Michael Briese