Reflection 206: Spiritual Hoarding


A real danger to the spiritual life could be termed “spiritual hoarding.”  This would be the person who attempts to make themselves the end of God’s Mercy rather than become an instrument of God’s Mercy.  By attempting to be an end of God’s Mercy, a person becomes spiritually greedy, seeking spiritual things for their own purpose.  This is a form of pride.  Praying becomes an act by which one seeks to “look” holy.  Good works are performed so as to be seen.  And one may seek to accumulate many spiritual books so as to give the appearance of being wise and learned.  But an essential focus of the Mercy of God is not “spiritual hoarding;” rather, it’s “spiritual generosity.”  If we want true Mercy to pour forth into our lives, we must give it away.  We must see everything that God gives us as a gift given for the purpose of distribution to others.  Therefore, when God gives you a certain grace, the first thing that should come to mind is how you can use this gift for the upbuilding of another.  By giving the Mercy of God away, we become increasingly rich and find that this act of spiritual generosity continually increases God’s Mercy in our own lives (See Diary #1069).

Do you seek holiness?  If so, why?  What is your motivation?  Is it so that you look good?  Or is it so that you become good, distributing the goodness of God to those in need?  Reflect upon the end result of the Mercy of God in your life.  Seek ways to make sure that the end of all God gives to you is the generous distribution of His Mercy to others.  In this, you too will be richly blessed.

Lord of endless Mercy, help me to see that Your grace increases the more that grace is given away.  Help me to always be a holy instrument of Your Mercy and, in this act of generosity, receive the abundance of Your generous Heart.  Jesus, I trust in You.


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Featured Image above: The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus by Jan Havicksz. Steen, via Wikimedia Commons