What do you have that you can give to the world?

I originally wrote this piece June 1st 2001. It was posted back then on the first “Dead Theologians Society” website. Having control over my own web site is why I started Stmichaelspod.com . I want to be able to post things and not have anyone else pull them down. Until now, I have always relied on others to run my web sites. The drag of that is when their hosts go down, or they move on in life, or just do not like something you write on your own site, your whole web-life’s work can be gone in an instant.

I can’t tell you what a huge relief it is to be able to post my own materials on my own.

Not to take away from John L. and Jayson F., without their help I would still not be posting. Thanks Guys! Hopefully I’m entering into a time when I can have the autonomy I need and the editing will be completely up to me. Stick around and watch the material fly. Now … on to the posting….

What do you have that you can give to the world?

I remember once when I was a small child my mother asked my sisters and me if we knew how much a person was worth. We took various guesses using those things, which were important to us at the time. Certain toys, my mom’s car, and even our house were offered and all were refused as the correct answer. Finally I came up with what I was certain was to be the right figure, One Hundred Dollars! Even that was too little. My mother went on to explain that one hundred, or one thousand, or even a million dollars was still too little. She told us that all the money in the world was not worth as much as one person. ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD!

That was a huge concept for such little kids, still we grasped the meaning of it in our childlike way. The reason I bring that memory up to you Dead Theologian’s Society members is that we have been studying the same thing only in a slightly more mature fashion. We have been studying the lives of Saints who have lived in poverty if need be in order to bring the Gospel to others. Jesus said “What does it profit a man that he should gain the whole world yet lose his soul?” Obviously Money is not the say all end all of this life. So what is?

Recently we showed a part of the movie “Schindler’s List” at the Homily of a Mass. The excerpt we used was the end scene where Oscar Schindler is being presented a ring made by all the Jewish families he saved from the Nazis. It is a very moving scene as Schindler realizes for the first time the value of a life. He is now haunted by each possession that he owns realizing that it represents some additional number of lives he could have saved. For him it is very real because he has been active in the trading for lives throughout the war. The horror for him is that he can see with his own eyes the people he saved on a whim. That is, people he saved only for his own business or pleasure whom are literally standing in front of him now. The awful reality sets in as his mind begins to grasp the unending number of people who are not there due to his not caring enough. He laments over his watch, it would have been traded for two or three more lives. His gold button, two or three more. His car, ten lives, at least ten! And now the crowning touch the Jewish people he has saved, again more out of convenience to himself, have written a letter to save his life should he be captured by the allied forces who have finally brought Hitler’s army to its knees. “How awful!” we say as we watch this man crumble on the screen before us, yet each one of us will someday have a similar reckoning.

Are you shocked by this thought! Are you wondering how you could be held responsible for something like this? After all that was the Second World War we were not even thought of yet.

Well consider this, you have the ability to save lives now. Just as Oscar Schindler had gold and money with which to buy lives, you have time and talent with which to save souls. God has given you life TODAY with which to advance The Kingdom. How are you using your “Gold”? You may well know about Jesus and the Love and Forgiveness He offers this tortured world. That is your wealth! Are you spending it to save others? We ( The Dead Theologian’s Society) study the lives of the Saints in order to learn how to spend our time and talents building The Kingdom of God. Are you sharing the Good News that you have found in Christ through His saints? Or are you sitting on that wealth of knowledge and squandering the time of your life on other things?

When this life is over Jesus will ask each of us “ Did you love me?” Our lives will be scrutinized (the bible says every idle word) as to how we spent the time and talents God gave us. Did we save lives through our actions? Did we save souls with our prayers and examples? Did we use what we had to make a difference? Or did we just enjoy hearing stories about other people who did!?! Jesus also says “Whatever you do to the least of My brothers, that you do unto Me!”

It is not hard to make a difference. If you had to save a soul today you might feel like you didn’t even want to get out of bed! But it is never as hard as it seems. See you don’t ever have to do the “saving” part. Jesus did that already! But you do need to let people know about Jesus and what He did. Try to be a good witness to Him by being kind to others. The great Saints catechized by their actions. St. Francis of Assisi would just walk through a town and by seeing his examples of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, he would have “preached” the Gospel to the town without saying a word. You can change your environment at home or at school by saying a kind word to a student who does not have many friends. Or helping out around the house before anyone asks you for help. You can do something in the privacy of your own heart which could literally spin the world in a new direction, you can pray! We all see injustice happening in the news, how often do we pray about it. Simple prayers for the benefit of others, prayers to be changed ourselves, prayers for the conversion of the world!

Remember, we are all just like Oscar Schindler during the war. We have a wealth to spend to save souls. Maybe not in gold, but in Time and Talent! Let’s try to be like the Saints we study and put our faith into action. Then when we face Jesus at the end of this life we will hear Him say “Well done! Good and faithful servant! Now enter into the reward that I have waiting for you!”