A huge buzz word in the Church today is “Stewardship.” Too often, this word is reduced to simply the use of one’s money or talents within the Church – such as being a musician at Sunday Mass or putting money in the collection basket. Indeed, Stewardship is so much more expansive – and yet it is so simple. It all stems from the revelation that God, the ultimate Creator and King of the universe, is the source of everything in our lives and has entrusted it all to our care. Stewardship is all about how we use the things which God has given to us. It moves us to see these things as gifts and to see ourselves as men who are to be good stewards of the gifts He entrusts to us. Stewardship is what Saints are made of. The way of life of a Catholic Gentleman can be summed up in one word: Stewardship.
I was raised with many great values, concepts, and experiences. I was taught not to be wasteful, and so I learned to not be picky and to be resourceful. I was taught that God was our Creator, who has given us dominion over the earth. I took great care in environmental issues and developed an acute consciousness and distaste for consumerism and our disposable culture. I came to learn that God’s will comes first, and that I was just his humble servant. I learned of holy indifference, the surrender of my will to God’s will, even if it led through difficulty or tragedy. I learned of detachment and fostered this attitude towards all temporal things. My gifts and talents were encouraged by those around me, further cultivated, and then used to bring glory to God and to serve His Church. Finally, I was taught of my ultimate purpose, which was to dwell with God in Heaven for eternity. And after all these years, I finally have a name for all of this: Stewardship!
I am increasingly convinced that developing a spirituality and a lifestyle of Stewardship is a critical and overarching part of anyone’s path towards Manly holiness. Here are just a few (and I stress few) reasons why:
- Stewardship says, “God is God and I am not.” It recognizes first and foremost that we are to serve God in humility. Any other way leads to the outcome that Lucifer experienced…
- Stewardship grows us in love. It is in humble and sacrificial love that we maintain a servant attitude to our awesome and loving God. This love further extends, servant-like, to our fellow man.
- Stewardship leads to joy! It sees all as a gift from God and as such, the response is gratitude – even for the things that we don’t understand. How can I be unhappy in response to God’s awesome generosity?
- Stewardship leads to generosity. It is generous not with what “I” have, but with what God has already entrusted to me. It is easy to give away what another has freely given to me!
- Stewardship demands responsibility. It recognizes God’s gifts, how we are caretakers of those gifts, and how we are accountable to use those gifts faithfully for the glory of God! The very gifts we are given are to give glory back to the giver, and that is our responsibility.
- Stewardship brings peace. It is a complete faith in God in wholehearted trust, from which comes peace and confidence.
- Stewardship makes true disciples. It makes of me a man who does not hoard his faith to himself, but extends it to others and reaches out as a disciple to share the gift of faith with the world!
And the list goes on and on.
Mary our Mother said it best when she said:
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
And just look at what happened as a result of this phrase (The Incarnation and Redemption if you didn’t know the answer).
May we have the Manly courage to repeat Mary’s words and consciously live as God’s faithful steward in all things!
~ The Catholic Gentleman's Guide