St Augustine of Hippo

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Written by Anne, a lay apostle


St. Augustine 

Dear brothers and sisters, we in heaven remember being on earth. We remember having great wants and suffering from poverty. Some of God’s saints were wealthy on earth, of course, but many were not. The time in which you live is a time of great abundance for some. It would make God happy if this abundance were shared so that few experienced hunger that resulted in disease and death. There will always be poor people, it is true, but this fact does not excuse anyone from failing to assist them. If you are wealthy, you may say, "What can I do?" I will answer you today. Give. Give often and give more. Work for others with your power and influence. Spread holy principles of responsible use of material and financial wealth. Also, deprive yourself of something. Sacrifice. Perhaps you are in a situation where you were accustomed to a high standard of living and now you find that you have had to reduce your standard. Praise God for this. Rejoice because in this circumstance you will learn many things. You will learn to trust God. You will learn to have compassion for others. You will learn that not everything has to do with bodily comfort. 

In looking back at my time of service on earth, I am aware that the time of greatest growth for me was the time when I suffered. This is basic spirituality of course, in that it is hard to become holy if you never deny yourself. In order to become holy you must take up your cross. This cross can come in many forms and the best response to the cross is always to pick it up and walk with it. Move. Do not lament that the cross has been placed on your doorstep. Accept the cross as coming from heaven and, putting one foot in front of the other, climb the mountain toward Jesus. There are always those who suffer more than you and there will always be those who suffer less. Do not let poverty make you bitter. To do so would be to reject God’s generous offer of holiness. During this time, many are suffering from financial difficulties. Is heaven any less present? This is the same as in many periods of history. Be at peace in all circumstances around you and you will find that God gives you what you need to serve Him in each day. If you are hungry, offer this to God, even while asking Him to provide you with more food. God will make you a saint quickly in these circumstances and you will experience spiritual richness. If you have enough and you are not hungry, deny yourself food periodically. Simply do not eat for a day and offer your hunger to God so that He can take your little sacrifice and obtain graces with which to feed others. Heaven will help you to understand God’s will in either situation, either poverty or affluence.

 
 

In a world where many have rejected God, it is necessary for many to learn about trust. Reliance on God is something that liberates a person. God can teach this lesson by withdrawing financial security. If you have lost your financial security and you are fearful, talk to God. Tell Him your fears. Tell Him about your obligations, particularly those you find you cannot meet. God will help you. There is no shame in not having enough money. Jesus Himself seldom had money. Did people look down on Him? Yes, they did. Did people have to take care of Him? Yes, they did, and they are being eternally rewarded for doing so. If you find that others have to help you, accept this with grace. Perhaps this is painful for you. Perhaps you find it humiliating. I understand. I am with you in this humiliation. 

Humiliation brings humility, though, and while I know the humiliation part is difficult, the humility part is heavenly and makes you open to God’s love in a way that delights heaven. If others have to care for you, sharing their food, shelter, time or wealth with you, accept this in peace. You may not have anything with which to reward them but God has all of infinity to bless them for their kindness to you. Indeed, your situation may be the best opportunity these people have to obtain holiness. Here is a snare. Do not become angry at the ones who help you, even if they give with superiority. If your circumstances make them feel superior, then they are in greater trouble than you and they have their own lessons to learn. You must pray for them and concentrate on the lessons God is teaching you today. Accept the help of others as though it were directly from the hand of God. You are in financial trouble. You pray. God sends help. Be grateful to Him and rejoice. Do not criticize the manner in which God sends the help. That is like being on a road walking, certain that you cannot continue as you are too tired. You have miles to go. A car comes along and offers you transport. You get into the car and begin to criticize the color of the seats. Would you not shake your head at this foolishness? Would you laugh at the ridiculousness? Would you feel sad for the one who offered his help, only to be mocked and ridiculed by a mean-spirited one? Be loving. Look with favor on those whom God sends to assist you. 


Dear friends, we in heaven see your needs. We hear your prayers. Come to God with everything. Be at peace in everything. Be like trusting children who know that their father will provide for them when the time is right. You will not regret trusting God. Trusting the Father becomes a habit and it will serve you well in every area of your life. Perhaps you have enough money and you always have had enough money. You, even more than a poverty-stricken one, must learn trust because there is a temptation when you are wealthy to rely on your wealth to protect you. Such folly. Such perilous folly is this. Truly, this is living in a house with no foundation. All may be well when it is sunny but in life storms must be expected as they come with regularity. An abundance of material wealth makes it even more imperative that you learn to rely only on God. Ask me for help with this and I will teach you everything I know about trusting God. 

If you fear for the financial protection of your family, ask me to intercede for you. Jesus has the greatest tenderness for the poor because He Himself was poor. Jesus understands that you worry about providing for your children and taking care of each other. Jesus accepts that this desire to provide for your loved ones is a holy inspiration that comes from Him. He will reward this by giving you all possible assistance. Do not think that you are working outside of God’s will if you strive to protect your family financially. 

Also, do not be afraid that God will punish you if you are wealthy. God Himself has allowed you to be wealthy but God did not allow your wealth simply for your personal comfort. God allowed wealth for you so that you could steward this wealth in such a way that God could assist others through you. You will want to allow God to do this with freedom, which means you need to be praying for God’s direction at all times. 

Be at peace in all circumstances. God loves His children and you will not be abandoned. We, the saints in heaven, will assist you to find the right answers to all of your financial difficulties. There will come a day when you finish your life and all of these problems will cease. On that day, I, Augustine, will be waiting for you so that I can congratulate you on the holy way in which you faced your financial circumstances. 

 

Blessed Mother 

My dear child, I am with you. There is a holy way to conduct your self in your situation. If you pray, you will know which is the holy way that leads to my Son. I will protect you from choosing an unholy way that leads away from my Son. You see, my child, in everything you face there is opportunity for holiness. Heaven can use your day to move our goals forward if you are the poorest of the poor or the richest of the rich. All we need is your "yes" to Jesus. Say yes to my Son. Accept any crosses you have. We will help you to provide for your family. We will help you to have peace in any suffering. You will not be abandoned. I am a mother and I had many worries because of our lack of means. Many people assisted my little family. My gratitude for the generosity of others is still with me and God’s gratitude for their generosity is still with them. Do you see? If you help others you will be rewarded for eternity. If you accept the help of others with dignity, you will become holy and set an example of dignified suffering. Beloved ones, I promise you that you will have what you need to become holy. Do not think that heaven abandons you with financial problems. Heaven helps in these matters as much as heaven helps in spiritual matters because we understand that all that happens in your life shapes your spirituality. Walk each day with heaven and you will see our help. I am your mother and I will not abandon you to these troubles. I will give you peace in all of your troubles.

 

For further information regarding the Lay Apostolate of Jesus Christ the Returning King, or to purchase Heaven Speaks booklets, please contact Direction for Our Times on the Web at www.directionforourtimes.com, or mail inquiries to the following address: 9000 West 81st St., Justice, IL  60458, U.S.A.

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