USE YOUR GOLD

A miser hid his gold at the foot of a tree in his garden. Every week he would dig it up and look at it for hours. One day a thief dug up the gold and made off with it. When the miser next came to gaze upon his treasure, all he found was an empty hole.

The man began to howl with grief so his neighbors came running to find out what the trouble was. When they found out, one of them asked, “Did you use any of the gold?”

“No,” said the miser. “I only looked at it every week.”

“Well, then.” said the neighbor, “for all the good the gold did you, you might just as well come her every week and gaze upon the hole.”

Source |  Anthony De Mello, SJ | The Heart of the Enlightened,
Doubleday,1989) page 20

CONSIDER THIS

It is not by our money but by our capacity for enjoyment that we are rich or poor. To strive for wealth and have no capacity for enjoyment is to be like the bald man who struggles to collect combs.

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Here’s a slightly different version

Once upon a time there was a wealthy miser who melted down his hoard of gold into a single lump which he then secretly buried in his garden. every day he went to look at it, and would spend hours gloating over it.

Then one of his servants discovered his secret, and came by night and stole the gold. when the miser discovered that his treasure had been stolen, he was heart-broken.

But a friend said to him. “Don’t take it so badly. Just put a brick on the hole, and take a look at it every day. You won’t be any worse off than before, for even when you had the gold you never used it.”

All of us bury some talent which we refuse to use either for our own benefit of for the benefit of others. And what us buried is of no earthly use to anyone.

Source | Flor McCarthy SDB, New Sunday & Holy Day Liturgies
(Dominican Publications, 1998) pages 346-347

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NO, MAYBE AND YES

There were three tulip bulbs named No, Yes and Maybe. They lived at the bottom of a bulb tin, content to be round and fat and dressed in silky brown garments. When autumn came, they fell to discussing the destiny of tulip bulbs. NO said, “I don’t think there is any life for tulip bulbs. We were made to live in bulb tins and I’m quite content to be right here.” And with that NO rolled over and went to sleep.

MAYBE disagreed. “I’m not satisfied with things as they are. I feel something inside me that I must achieve and I believe I can.” So he squeezed and squeezed himself, turning this way and that. But nothing happened, and finally in frustration MAYBE gave up.

Then YES spoke up. “I’ve been told,” she said very softly, “that by ourselves we can do nothing but that we can achieve our destiny, if we put ourselves in the hands of Life.” The others just sniffed and looked away.

Now one day a hand reached down into the bulb tin, groping for a bulb. NO and MAYBE scurried out of reach, and hid in a corner. But YES rolled right into the hands of Life, which took her and buried her in the cold, damp earth of winter!

“What a fool to fall for that trick,” laughed NO and MAYBE, who were warm, dry. and safe in their little bulb tin. And with that they went back to sleep. When spring came, NO and MAYBE were nowhere to be seen. NO had shrivelled up and died in his sleep; while MAYBE had worried and fidgeted himself to death. Nothing remained of them but a few dry husks and a handful of dust. And what about YES who had let herself be buried all winter in the ground and had seemed to everyone to be dead?

Well she was a sight to behold. For you see, she had burst out of the ground and blossomed into a whole new life.

Source | Dennis R. Clark, SUNDAY MORNING: Reflections on the Word
(Sheed and Ward, 1996) Cycle A, 28 ordinary time

CONSIDER THIS

  • What is your name? Yes, No or Maybe?
  • Do you find it hard to say YES and to remember that with each new dawn Life is inviting you to blossom into a new life?
  • Name the fear-habits that are holding you back from saying YES to Life.