Three Couples


* First, I recall this little fantasy:

Three good and deeply faith?filled couples happen to pull off a business deal that nets each of them a million dollars. Now, these three couples are good people, with strong consciences, and they did nothing wrong in the business deal. After a few weeks, at one of their regular get-togethers, they rather shyly begin to mention a feeling that they have each noticed. They do not feel entirely comfortable about having that money. This is a spiritual matter, for their consciences remain clear and firm. But they notice changes in their spirits. They are no longer eager for Sunday Mass (and the homilies vex them as never before). They feel differently about the bishops' pastoral on the American economy and the Popeís letter about communism and capitalism. They no longer feel in harmony with the Church, somehow. They admit feeling exultant that they made the deal and got the million dollars. They like having the money and are doing great things with it. Still ... maybe they want it too much or something? It seems to be tainting their lives.

* Second, at this juncture I set this fantasy aside and turn to God. I go and stand before the Blessed Trinity, with our Lady there, and the apostles, and in fact, I stand before the whole heavenly court.
There, I ask the Lord God Almighty for what I want: Lord, I ask to want, to desire, whatever will show in me Your holiness, Your power at work in the world and in me whatever will make me more certainly Yours.

* Then I take up each couple as they go back and live out their way of dealing with this spiritual disquiet they feel, and I reflect on myself to see whether I would be with any one of the three couples.

First, this couple really wants to get rid of the disquiet. They talk a lot about it, at least in the beginning. But years later when they die - still rich they have done nothing at all about it.

Second, the next couple canít sit still in the disquiet. They want to keep the money and can't figure why they ought to get rid of it. Still, they do not want to live with uneasy spirits, a little tentative with God. So they take some steps. Systematically, they give money to the poor and the dispossessed and the underprivileged, mostly through the Church. In this way, they try to bargain with God: "If we give this to the poor, You ought to give us peace." When they come to die, they have done good things, but they have not reached solid inner peace.

Third, the final couple considered keeping the money and they also considered just giving the money away. But they had to admit that they did not really know whether either one would solve their uneasiness. Why would they keep it? Why would they give it away? So this is how they acted: They decided that they would not determine definitely to keep the money or definitely to get rid of it. They would wait to see what this disquiet really signified. Then when they knew, they would act. In this way, they generously said to God: "Either way. Show us and we'll do it. "

At the end, having reflected on yourself, use the triple colloquy, ending with the Our Father.