Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Using Our Lives, Possessions For God’s Glory

By FATHER THEODORE BOOK, Commentary | Published September 13, 2007

Each Sunday, we begin the Creed by saying, “We believe in one God … the creator of heaven and earth.” This might be the most basic thing that we can say about God—He is the creator—He is the one that brought the whole world into being from nothing.

For many of us, this is also our first experience of God: looking into a sunset and marveling at its beauty; gazing into a sea of desert stars and being amazed at the God who could create such infinity; seeing the tiny perfection of a newborn baby and praising the creator who made all things well.

We know that God is the creator, but sometimes it can be hard to transfer that belief into our daily lives. For if we believe that God is the creator, it means that He is not only the creator of distant stars and perfect sunsets but also the creator of each and every thing that we touch in the course of our days. When we arise, he is the one who created the light that streams through the window. He is the one who created the gift of life that beats within our hearts. He is the one who provided the food we eat as we prepare for work. He is the one who gave human hands the skill and matter to shape the houses we live in, the cars we drive, the many things that surround us, and he is the one who preserves us from harm and preserves the existence of all that we hold dear.

In fact, the more we are able to recognize God as creator, the more we begin to see that all things belong to him: He created them, he holds them in being, and he will determine the time when they pass out of the world.

All of our possessions, indeed our very lives, are his much more than they are ours. He has given us our lives to use for his glory, and one day, he will call us back. He has entrusted our possessions to us to make good use of them, but one day he will take them back or pass them to someone else in turn.

When we realize that all things belong to God, we suddenly become free. We no longer need to worry about how many days might remain in our lives, how to accumulate possessions, or what might happen if some disaster should take them away. All these things belong to God.

We must simply make the best use possible of what he has given us, to make beautiful lives here—lives that reflect God’s glory more truly than stars or sunset.

Then, when he does call us home, in perfect trust we can appear before him, knowing that the face of the judge will be a face that we already know well—that of our father and friend.

How can we live in a way that reflects God’s beauty so profoundly? How can we live in a way to express the truth that everything belongs to God?

Certainly the first way is by praising him and giving him thanks, but even the great saints did not spend all of their time in the chapel. The actions of our lives must also bear witness to this truth. Our work can be work done for the Lord. Our homes can be places where Christ is worshiped, taught and loved, but our Christian lives must also extend outside the homes.

For many parishes, Masses on the weekend of Sept. 22-23 offer a chance to focus on the time and talent aspect of stewardship—providing an opportunity to consider how we can make our lives better reflections of our faith. We do believe that God is the creator of heaven and earth. Now, let our lives show the whole world the beauty of our faith.


Father Theodore Book is director of the archdiocesan Office of Divine Worship and chaplain at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home for cancer patients.