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Personal Finance

Personal Finance

A Call to Responsibility With God’s Gifts

As Catholics, we recognize that everything that we own, and all positions of power that we may hold on earth, are God-given. We are called to be in this world, but not of it. Regardless of what we think, each of us has a relationship to the means of exchange of worldly goods. Assets, both liquid and otherwise, can be used as tools to better human life, and educating ourselves on personal finance is not only beneficial, but also a part of our responsibility as Christians.

We are called to love the Lord with all our hearts and love our neighbor as ourselves. Part of that obligation to love others is in giving in charity — the donation of our time, talents and money are all vital to our spiritual well-being. God calls us to give the very best of our gifts in the service of others. We are putting ourselves in a better position to love our neighbor by fostering continued awareness of our own financial status, and in doing so, we are equipped to better fulfill our commission.

Part of the problem we experience is the narrative that people who are zealous about their finances are “greedy.” This is not necessarily true. There is a definitive line between knowledge of how money works in action and in seeking money for its own sake. It is our burden and call to stay between these lines, to act justly with our gifts yet not be ruled by them.

We are given a comprehensive explanation of our vocation to serve by sacred Scripture and Tradition.

The Lord revealed that an essential part of our mission is to take responsibility for the gifts that he has so graciously handed us.

We work to be satisfied with our livelihoods, not constantly seeking more goods or financial status rather than seeking God.

As we strive to progress in our careers, we are called to differing levels of responsibility to care for others — like our own families and communities. Just as with any material good that gives us pleasure, we should deny ourselves some part of it in sacrifice to foster the cardinal virtues of prudence and temperance. We give so that others may increase; we love by wanting the betterment of others. Each sacrifice, however small, should be offered for the salvation of the people in our lives and those who have gone before us.

We are charged to recognize the relationship between money and our vocation to love as God’s appointed governors of the gifts he bestows on the earth. In our pursuit of financial stability, we are also given a greater responsibility to serve our neighbor.

Ask God for the grace to fulfill his will in our lives so that we joyfully cooperate in our ordained mission of faith, hope and charity.


Daniel Jost is a publications specialist for the Office of Multimedia. Email him at djost@charlestondiocese.org.