That is just one of the thousands of things God has revealed through His Word. Youíve heard it, you know it, but do you believe it? Howís your secondary faith? It is in proportion to your primary faith. If you really believe in Him, then that truth under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit will grip you and change your whole behavior. If you really love God, you canít be a materialist. You wouldnít worry about paying your bills, youíd trust the Lord to provide. You would not be concerned about what you would eat or what you would wear, only heathens and publicans do that, Jesus said (Matthew 6:31 and 32). Six times Jesus forbids us to worry about material things in Matthew 6: Jesus says, "Your heavenly Father knows you have need of these things." The worldling says, "I have to fend for myself."
On a preaching assignment in Las Vegas recently, I saw, even in the airport, slot machines with people avariciously pulling at the "one-armed bandits," plugging in their money. We stopped for a hamburger on the way from the airport and my host said to me - in contrast to what I had just seen, "I wish I didnít have to have money. I wish I could give it all away. Iím tired of fighting this worry of how to pay taxes and how to pay the bills. If I could just be free. I envy you, Father, for your freedom. Youíve taken a vow of poverty, you donít worry about these things. You give to the Community and they give you back what you need. No worry." He threw his money on the counter to pay for the burgers as if to say, "Thank God I got rid of some more filthy lucre!"
His desire was to become disengaged from the things of the world. Isnít it crazy, all this grabbing for money? In Las Vegas, many people are intoxicated with money-hunger, waiting for that jackpot. People who watch game shows by the hour gush, "Ooh, they won a new refrigerator; ooh, they won a new car, oooooh!"
Authentic Christians realize that they are only stewards of Godís treasures. That is one effect of secondary faith. They are not materialists in the grip of money. They are Christians in the secure grip of Godís love! Hence their primary faith is reflected in this and every other form of secondary faith.
Next Installment: Measuring Maturity do we shop around or do we fully buy into our faith?
Father, You sent St. Ansgar to bring the light of Christ to many nations. May his prayers help us to walk in the light of Your Truth.
Tucker, who has spent 14 years of death row after being convicted of a brutal double murder-- a crime to which she has confessed-- has entered a plea for clemency on the grounds that she has changed her life since converting to Christianity while in prison.
The Vatican today confirmed that Pope John Paul II has written to Texas Governor George Bush Jr., the son of the former President, in support of Tucker's plea for clemency. Bush has said that he will not make any decision until he learns the results of a separate bid for help from the US Supreme Court. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, however, has turned down the prisoner's bid for a life sentence rather than execution.
Tucker is scheduled to die tomorrow. She would be the first woman legally executed in Texas since the Civil War, and the second woman to die by capital punishment since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the United States.
The Pope has announced that during his pastoral visits to parishes in Rome this year, during the weeks of Lent, he will make special efforts to visit with families. And in line with that plan, during a Sunday visit to Sacred Heart parish not far from the Vatican, he visited the home of the Manago family, talking briefly with Giuseppe and Annunziata, their three teenage children, and Giuseppe's parents.
"In meeting these people," the Holy Father explained during his homily at Sunday Mass in Sacred Heart church, "I am seeking in a way to grow closer to all the families of the parish, and to issue the same invitation that I want to issue to all the homes in the city: 'Open your door to Christ!'"
In coming week, more than 13,000 "missionaries" commissioned by the Rome diocese will be visiting their neighbors, at the prompting of the Pope, to spread the message of the Gospel in preparation for the coming millennium.
In his remarks about the World Day for Consecrated Life, the Holy Father held up the life of Father Curic as a model of dedication to missionary work. The witness made by religious men and women, the Pope remarked, is all too often "the shedding of blood." In the case of Father Curic, he added, "Another victim is added to the long series of missionaries who have confirmed the sacrifice of their life in love for Christ and for the African people."
[The above story came from CWN; the below story comes from a letter sent to us from Father Zdravko Kujundzija, a fellow Franciscan who knew Father Curic.]
The Franciscan Order and the Province of Bosnia gave another martyr.
What is so fascinating about Vjeko is that only four years ago he rushed to Bosnia from Rwanda, where he was a missionary, to help his own people. The fighting in Bosnia was so intensive that he could not reach his hometown. He went back to Rwanda and a few months later something catastrophic happened in that African country--a real genocide. Fr. Vjeko worked so hard to prevent the genocide. Little could be done. A million people were killed in a few months because there were too few people in our world like Vjeko willing to risk their lives for others.
He could not help his own, but he recognized that there are so many people who need protection and love and whom you can always embrace as your own. Vjeko gave his love and his life to the people of Rwanda. He is the hero of our age. Unfortunately, he was too good for our world.
Brother Vjeko, thank you for reminding us even in your death how we too have to serve others and not just ourselves. You taught us the lesson that we will always have a people to love. [For more information on Fr. Curic, you may go his province's web site at http://users.aol.com/rimac/bosfra/index.htm]