Monday, March 17, 2008


This Saturday morning when we checked online to see if the cheque had posted as the teller had said it would, we discovered not only had the cheque not posted but that the account had disappeared.

We were, to say the least, shocked. We called the 1 - 800 number listed there for for us to inquire as to why our account was no longer available on line. What we were told did nothing to relieve our shock and worry. Due to the account having been overdrawn for an extended period of time - it had been closed. I bleakly asked the customer representative where our money was and she cheerfully announced that 'the bank has it'. She helpfully tried to see if anyone would be available at the branch we bank at on a Saturday. No luck. I thanked her and hung up and turned around to stare into Hugo's grief stricken eyes.

I tried to encourage him to think positively; I said; 'you know we should be grateful that God provided for us this weekend with the large donation from one of my readers. BEFORE this all went wrong. We can assume God knew what was going to happen and so He inspired a reader to help out with a donation."

Hugo asked well - "Why didn't he just help the cheque to get here on time... Just an hour earlier and we would have made it there before two and avoided the account being closed... Or if FEDEX hadn't lost it for a week, all this could have been avoided."

I completely saw his logic - so I could not respond except to shrug my shoulders. What could I say?Just how much is under God's influence? A tornado hit Atlantic last night - twenty families have lost their homes. Numerous people will be without work for weeks while the hotels repair the windows in their rooms and divert clients to other hotels. Jesus calmed the wind with a few words - could he not have turned the tornado away, why did He let it happen. Of course - I am simply asking rhetorical questions. God does not cause evil - He simply allows free will.

But was it free will that someone did not notice the wrong address when they printed the shipping label? Maybe it would be wise to say this is the effect of original sin. Sounds like a huge leap, eh? But is it? When you think of how we are to aim for Heaven and to perfect ourselves through our everyday lives, using every moment to improve and push ourselves closer to heaven; that even sloth is a sin, it makes it a little more reasonable to think that what happened with the cheque was the result of original sin.

Someone was careless at Mutual. They did not double check their work. Maybe they were hung over from a late party the night before. Maybe they were nursing anger with a colleague and so not paying attention. Maybe they had a cold... also a side effect of original sin.

Whatever was the reason, someone missed the opportunity to use an ordinary moment to do their best and sanctify their work to the glory of Christ, and thus began a dynamo effect that cascaded down around Hugo and I. But God in His goodness, inspired someone to send us that donation so that we would have enough food and gas for the weekend. Monday - I will need to cover a 500 dollar utility bill, (high I know but the insulation sucks in this house, the water drips non stop in all of the sinks and the thermostat does not work - causing the furnace to run non stop - requiring me to operate the thermostat manually. Too hot - turn heat off, getting cold - turn heat back on.) or the hydro will be turned off.

At that time - God will provide, either someone at the Hydro company will give us an extension, or we will be told by the bank to go ahead and write a check - or something will happen.

The one thing I have learned from the past six years - we will all have our crosses. For us right now - it is the finances and having, at times, to beg. I can so identify with this quote "If you want God to hear your prayers, hear the voice of the poor. If you wish God to anticipate your wants, provide those of the needy without waiting for them to ask you. Especially anticipate the needs of those who are ashamed to beg. To make them ask for alms is to make them buy it. " St. Thomas of Villanova

The cross is a hard truth to accept. Right now my children are more or less healthy. My adult children are all doing well. But they will all, in their turn, suffer. My temptation is to ask Christ to spare them; yet - it is in suffering that we grow closer to God, that we are perfected. To ask God to protect them from suffering would be like asking Him to never let them walk - for fear they will trip and fall down. Instead I have learned that I must pray for them to have the graces to bear the sufferings that they will endure in the future. I recently heard (on EWTN) a priest talking about just this. He said that we must pray NOW for the grace to endure sufferings to come; other wise when we are given our cross it will be too heavy to bear, and we will find it impossible to pray then for the graces we need. I have learned this the hard way!

So as difficult as it might seem, I now refrain from asking God to prevent suffering for my children or myself. Rather I ask for the graces to bear what will come - and the wisdom to enjoy the small joys found my everyday life. Read more!