The economies of the United States and Europe have not left the recession they entered when the bubble on real-estate burst. It is looking less and less likely that real economic progress will happen any time soon, since the so-called first world has a birth rate too low to cause real expansion to the economy, and the current generation seems unable to consume products at the outrageous levels that would be necessary to cause the economy to grow. The news media is afraid to declare the obvious: the economy is looking like a long, downward spiral. How do families live their vocation in a sagging economy, especially when layoffs are looming?
– First of all, families should place their confidence in God, not in the government, their employer, their insurance, or the strenght of their resume. There is nothing God cannot do, and He promises to care for His children, yet often we go to our Heavenly Father only after everyone else has turned us down. It is better to start each day on our knees, asking for God’s help, and end each day on our knees, thanking God for all that He has provided.
– Second, economic troubles help us refocus on putting people before things. It is not enough to tell children “We don’t have money to buy a [insert name of gadget] right now”, which implies that excess money could and would be spent on a flashy new Whatchamagigit. Even when we have money, that money needs to be spent wisely, and in fact, the more money we have, the more responsibility we have to spend it well.
– Third, blessed are the poor is a line we should repeat every day until we begin to believe it. Poverty is terrifying to us, so much so that we will practically sell body and soul to avoid it. Yet when poverty is lived with faith in God’s providence, it is truly liberating. Once we get over our fear of being poor, we can live happily with whatever God brings us. +