I am not bragging but every week I attend Mass. In between, I try to live by everything I learned from my parents, teachers, nuns and priests. I live a good life and I am, I believe, a good person.
I hate to admit that sometimes I go to Mass on auto pilot. I can rarely tell you what the readings were or what the priest said in his homily. However today was an exception! The reading and the homily were about vanity and placing more value on the material things we acquire in life, than we do placing value on building and acquiring our spiritual and moral compasses that guide us to what is important to keep us on track in life. Is having a ton of money, a bigger and better car, going to make us happier, healthier, and more satisfied with our lives? Everyone answers that question differently.
Of course, this really hit home for me because this is what I do! I spend my days talking with people about all the “stuff” they have. They have this stuff and they want to keep it, because it means a great deal to them. They have reached a level of wealth that they aspired to or that they have more than their parents had at their same age. For whatever reason it is important for them to have, keep, and acquire more stuff. I am not 100% sure that having all these material things is or has made them happier and more satisfied.
By the time I work with my clients, they are at a point in their lives when they must downsize and make room for less clutter. Some have even realized that having all the stuff is really not as important as it once was. It is still very hard for them to give up the items that mean so much and it is extremely difficult to convince them to let things go. Letting go they might have less physical items, doesn’t mean that their status or stature is any less than it was with all these items.
My Dad always told me that there were no pockets in coffins, and he was right! When you are laying in the coffin it really does not matter whether or not you have millions of dollars or not, we are all equal at that point. He worked very hard for what we had and it was very good life. My family was not rich, by any stretch of the imagination, with lots of material items, but we were rich with abundant love, with a strong upbringing from wonderful parents, family and friends. My Father never owned a new car, boat, or a summer home. However, he made sure his family had a nice home, good food, nice clothes, good education, and plenty of love and happiness.
So today while listening to the readings and the homily, I realized I am preaching the same sermon to my clients. It is not necessary to have all this stuff in your life, it does not make you any better person. We are who we are, and we need to work on acquiring less material stuff and concentrate on what makes us the truly wonderful person we should be — loving, kind, giving.
So today Father Marc was preaching to the choir!