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'On Material Things'

St. Catherine of Siena

Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.

- Psalm 115:3-4

In both Old and New Testaments, we're reminded again and again that we owe our allegiance not to a thing in the material realm, but to the God that transcends it. And yet, idols of silver and gold constantly pull at our attention.

In the time of these psalms, many people worshiped metal statues, believing the idols themselves contained their gods. It can still mean something like that, when a symbol to aid our worship becomes the object of worship itself. But any time we put some material desire ahead of God's will, we are worshiping an idol. If I'll do anything to get a big house, I'm making worldly success an idol. If I let someone else be blamed for my mistake, I'm making my reputation an idol.

But we can return at any moment.

God of heaven and earth, I know I sometimes put material things ahead of you. Please help me let them go and return to your love and faithfulness that I may be restored.

- Phil Fox Rose
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Thank you, Phil, for this powerful reminder. How fitting that your words should appear on the feast day of St. Catherine of Siena. --{--@
Amie Ilva Tatem | Posted on: 2013-04-29 13:58:41
Phil, a very nice reflection on how we set up idols in our lives, and then kind of forget that that's what we are doing! This is going to make me look at my life for the metal idols I have erected...
Annie Turner | Posted on: 2013-04-29 11:08:58
We need to remember, though, that it's fine to enjoy and appreciate non-essential items in our lives. I think it's pleasing to God when we're thankful for the bounty in our lives. Enjoy, but don't make them a priority that interferes with your relationship with God.

Laura | Posted on: 2013-04-29 09:56:57
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