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St. Francis, Lady Poverty and Our Amazing Lack of Cash

St. Francis of Assisi (for those of you unfamiliar with the great saint) was born into wealth.  His dad was a successful cloth merchant and his mom was minor nobility.  Francis enjoyed the life of a young playboy:  parties, wine, women, song, clothes - the whole Paris Hilton package of the 1300s.

As a young man, Francis had a radical conversion, and rejected his previous life.  His dad was livid, and dragged Francis before the bishop to tell the young man to straighten up.  Francis, in a moment of great drama, faith and showmanship, stripped to his birthday suit in public, laying his expensive clothes at his father's feet, and told him he no longer wanted his dad's financial support.  He embraced poverty wholly - calling her "Lady Poverty", whom he served as a noble knight for the rest of his life.

What does any of this have to do with me?  A number of years ago, Dear Husband and I made the decision to follow St. Francis via a group of Franciscan Sisters with whom we've developed a relationship.   We believe Francis' way of life in Christ has much to offer us, our family and our world. Our decision to do this has brought great riches to our lives....none of those riches financial, however.

I want to get a little bit ahead of the bills.  Not a lot.  Just a little.  But somehow, God - in His infinite wisdom and with great humor - knows that we have made this decision to live a Franciscan life, and is holding us to that. 

I'm actually getting paid for two full-time jobs right now.  My old job will continue to pay me until the end of July, when my contract runs out, and I'm getting paid for my new job.  In fact, I got that 'extra' paycheck today.  Woo-hoo!  An extra paycheck!  I had some glorious fantasies for that money.  And then, I got home, and the repair guy told me that the not-very-old refrigerator was dead.  Kaput.  Not worth repairing. 

Guess how much a new fridge cost me?  Almost exactly the same amount as that extra paycheck.

God is good - He keeps His promises, and holds me to mine.  But in the words of Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof":  "Would it be so terrible if I had a small fortune?"  Well, would it??


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