It’s cold, gray, and wet outside. I sit next to the window with the black and yellow copy of Personal Finance for Dummies on my lap, frowning at the net worth table. The rows and columns guide me as I subtract personal liabilities from personal assets. There is, I notice, no space for “God’s providence” in the assets column. I sigh. Time for another cup of coffee.
I am my family’s CFO, which means that our finances are being managed by someone more interested in books than in banks and bonds. (Hence, the book on banks and bonds.) It would all be so terribly overwhelming without recourse to family and friends with financial expertise, those who love me enough to patiently explain to me for the eighth time what equity is or why credit cards aren’t necessarily evil in plastic form. In fact, knowing my deficiencies in this area, God seems to have surrounded me with a large group of family and friends who all know more about money than me. Humbling, yes, but very providential.
In addition to family on earth, the Lord’s also given us a multitude of friends in heaven who truly want nothing more than to help us on our way until we’re with them. Their comfort and companionship is available to us if we only ask.
My friend with me this morning is St. Zita, who Lisa Hendey does a beautiful job discussing in A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul. St. Zita was a pious, prayerful, and dutiful young girl who at the age of twelve was sent to work as a servant in a household. Despite poor treatment Zita persevered in her duties with such diligence and joy that she eventually won over those for whom and with whom she worked and was eventually given charge of the entire household. She ran the household with such efficiency that she was able to send more of the family’s money to the poor. By the time of her death her holiness was well-known throughout the community.
St. Zita’s example of cheerful diligence in the face of sometimes-daunting domestic chores often comes to mind. Today, though, I’ve asked her to keep me company as I thumb through charts and figures and budget sheets, interceding on my behalf that I can run my household as she did hers: efficiently, charitably, and with unending hope in the goodness of God.
Dear St. Zita, please pray for us as we work out our budgets. Help us to be good stewards of our time, talent, and treasure for the glory of God. Amen.