I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Phillipians 4:11
What is it to be content? When are we satisfied with the life we live and the things we have been given? How does this effect the way we view life and death?
A Modern Day Parable:
Two women both raised in the faith look back on their lives. Each has been blessed with love and children, an education, and though not a surplus each has had all that they need. The first woman having experienced lean times also felt want and sought to never know that feeling again. So, rather than buying to fulfill a need, she buys to fulfill her want. And like a hungry beast that want is never satisfied.
“In this life no one can fulfill his longing nor can any creature fulfill his desire. Only God satisfies, he infinitely exceeds all other pleasures. That is why man can rest in nothing but God.
St. Thomas Aquinas
Likewise, though she gives of herself generously to others, it is never sufficient, it is never enough. And judging herself by the standards of the world, she doesn’t see her life as accomplished, worthy or full. The time before her is slipping and she is not ready. There was so much she had wanted to do, to have had and to have given, and for her death would come too soon.
The second woman
“As sorrowful yet always rejoicing; as poor yet enriching many; as having nothing and yet possessing all things.” 2 Cor 6:10
also had experienced difficult times, yet rather than want she experienced gratitude. God had provided enough for her and her family and met their need. And even in the meager times, she continued to give out of that need, tithing back to God of her time and money. Contentment was found in the small joys, of time spent with others and in love and service- for all was a gift from God.
“It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.”
Bl. Mother Teresa
No acknowledgment by the world was required, for she knew her worth came from her Creator. Rising early she spent time with her Father in heaven, attentive to his voice and word. She was priceless in his eyes, and her time on earth was to be spent simply learning to love as she had been loved. Her home, though, was not here. It was merely a waiting place for the home which awaited her in heaven. So when death came, she embraced it as an old friend, knowing that those who had gone before her would be there to greet her.
How will we live this life we have been given today?