There is a saying I love; “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go”. Financial pressure effects our lives and the way we pray very much. Many times people do not accept the great gift of children because they are financially strapped. Many mothers are not mothers at home because of money problems. Many fathers work too many long hours and neglect their families because they need more money.
St. Paul’s letter to the Romans says “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another. For he that loveth his neighbor, hath fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8. So we should do everything in our power to not get in debt and to love one another.
It is very difficult to get out of debt and stay out of debt. With everyone around us always going shopping, traveling, buying new homes, cars, boats and computers, we get sucked into the instant gratification sewer. I call it the sewer because it contaminates our lives with worldliness and slavery to the banks and therefore to the devil. Why the devil, because he wants us enslaved to money and debt so we are not free. The devil always wants us enslaved, addicted to sin, to work, and to shopping. We are freeborn children of God, not slaves.
When we enslave ourselves to debt, we are not free to use our time for the Lord. We have all that the world can offer, but we sign away our lives on the loan application. That is not what God has envisioned for us. He wants us to be free, relaxed and having time to work for Him. God wants us to have time to spend with our children, spouses and to enjoy life.
We need to work as a family to change our spending habits. First; all the family members (especially dad and mom) need to be willing to sacrifice to be debt free.
You need to stop using the credit card (except on something that you have the money to pay for and are only using this card to purchase something that is on line or something like that. But if you find that you can not stop using the credit card, get rid of it (or them) and do not buy on line. Instead go to the company and buy it there. It is so easy to use a credit card for fast gratification. As you can see in casinos, they get you to purchase chips so that you do not see the real money you are loosing. In the same way, the world and devil have got you using the credit card so you will not see the consequences when you will have to pay the bill by using your life to work to pay off the credit card.
Start to save your money and when you have it saved up, you may use it to purchase something you need, not what you want. So when you have money saved up, pray and ask God if this is what He wants you to spend your money on. Again, ask yourself if you really need it. Can you live with out it. So many people have too much material things that bog down their lives. Just look at the garages meant for cars, yet are full of purchased things that are no longer needed and now only take up room.
Buy used things. Most cars devaluate immediately upon driving out of the car lot. Why not have an old car that is paid off. You save so much money not paying interest on your car and not having those monthly payments. You should not please your friends or neighbors by having new cars. We are only to please God. And when we have new things all the time, it tempts others to want to have them. “Do not covet your neighbors goods”.
Have a strict budget that takes into consideration of all your expenses. Writing down your monthly expenses takes discipline. To be financially free, we need to have discipline. But in the long run you will be way more free to do what God wants and you want with your time because you took the time to write out a budget including all the monthly expenses and income.
Just like getting to heaven takes delayed gratification, so getting out of debt take delayed gratification. The gratifications you eventually gain are; the wonderful freedom of being out of debt, the extra time you have with God and family, and the lack of stress.
Most people live their lives to work and spend. And then they die. We know that our lives are to be used for God and to help save souls. When we are debt free we are also able to love our neighbor (which takes time). Then we do not have to commute to work. We can work at a lower wage closer to home because our debts are paid off.
Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to him that lendeth”.
We traditional catholics have deep values that go beyond the contemporary world’s values. Therefore it is of utmost importance to again learn the traditional value of being debt free and able to live a relaxed cultured life. We have great graces given us through these traditional sacraments to help us get control of our passions and desires so that we can be disciplined in our financial affairs too. We want happy families. Debt free families are way happier and can financially afford to provide for the children God gives them. Mothers can stay home and raise their kids.
We need to hate the world and all its glamor. Remember the temptation of Jesus in the desert. “Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me.” Matthew 4:8-9. The devil will give you many material things but will take your life in exchange (all the hours you commute and work).
We traditional catholics have other treasures like the Holy Tridentine Mass, truly converted catholic friends, faith and love. Why do we need what the world offers. Make a resolution today to simplify and to get on a budget. Pray so that you can stick to it. Only buy what you need not what you want. Celebrate as you accomplish small and large goals to get out of debt. Remember, Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph lived lower middle class lives. I do not think we would find much materialism in their life at Nazareth. Material things are a burden. Spiritual things are consolations.
If we are disciplined in our way of spending money, with God’s help we will be debt free. But we also need to remember that after we have done our part to not waste money, God will also provide. God is generous especially when we are generous. God will take care of us if we are not wasting what He has given us. We need great faith in the providence of God. Heavenly Father give us our daily bread.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.