“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

2 Corinthians 9:11

Friday, 11 September 2020

2 Corinthians 9:11

There is growing awareness that conversion is necessary if we are to build the bonds of human relationships and take care of our common home. The two are intricately connected. Our religious traditions have an immense contribution to make. Spirituality can motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of our world.

Pope Francis, in Laudato Si’, says that the external deserts are growing because the internal deserts have become so vast (#217). For this reason, the ecological crisis the world faces is an invitation to a profound interior conversion.

This, for Christians, means that our personal encounter with Jesus Christ becomes evident in our relationship with the world around us.

Conversion invites us to develop attitudes which foster a spirit of generosity and tenderness. This entails gratitude and gratuitousness, recognizing that the world is God’s loving gift. We are called, quietly, to imitate God’s generosity in self-sacrifice and good works. It also means a loving awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of the creatures “but joined in a splendid universal communion” (#220).

Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding and quality of life. It encourages us to be contemplative and prophetic. It helps us live a life free of obsession and consumerism. The spiritual path invites us to live lives marked by moderation and the capacity to stop and appreciate small things, to be grateful for the opportunities life affords us. It invites us to be spiritually detached from what we possess, not succumbing to sadness for what we lack.

Living the spiritual path freely and consciously liberates us. It helps us to live life to the full. Happiness is knowing when to limit some needs which diminish us and be open to the many different possibilities life can offer. Our riches, St Paul reminds us in his second letter to the Corinthians, is in our willingness and ability to see the world through the lens of generosity.

Today, ask yourself: Where might the Lord be calling me to moderation? Am I grateful for all the gifts I do have?

Creator God,

Gift me with the grace of gratitude. May I recognize your loving gifts in my daily encounters. Set me free from anything that enslaves me so that I can live life to the full.

Amen.

 
Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
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