Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
November 25, 2007
Christianity and Investment Opportunities
Money, money, and more (or less) money! Sometimes it seems as though that’s all people talk about. It is a fact of life that money is a topic that we all think about. All too often it consumes a great deal of our time and energy. We worry about not having enough to pay bills, not saving enough for retirement or not knowing how to invest in order to maximize our returns. Sometimes we think that the “better half” of the population, i.e., those who have a little extra money, are the lucky ones. When and if we have the opportunity to discuss the matter with this group of people we see that they have their own problems. From a spiritual point of view they worry that money and God don’t always go together.
As we finish the liturgical year and we celebrate the existence of God’s kingdom with the feast of Christ the King, it is an excellent time to take stock of our attitude on the topic of money. One of the major topics written about as of late is that of Catholic Social Teaching. Sometimes we ignore this topic because we are afraid that we will actually have to live up to it and that will mean that our financial security will be affected. However, if we take the time to think about it we might find that it is all in our favor.
Catholic Social Teaching does not tell us that we should not have money or that saving and investing is bad. On the contrary, taking advantage of God’s gifts is a good thing. The point is not to be poor or not to invest. Rather, the point is to be mature, wise and conscious of where we invest. As Catholic Christians we must be socially responsible. This means that we must take the time to do our homework before we invest. If everyone did this we would live in a world that is much more fair for everyone.
Examples of such social consciousness exist today through credit unions, banks and housing developments that are commited to microlending both domestically and internationally. Rather than opening a deposit account at a traditional bank, why not deposit funds at a microcredit instituion of your choice. You benefit in several ways. Not only do you have the service of a bank but you are being social conscious and investing on a spiritual level as well.
Other examples of being a Christian investor is investing in socially responsible Mutual funds. This could include investing in companies that have good environmental records or are responsible in their disposal of hazardous waste. Other considerations might be to invest in companies that pay a fair living wage even in international operations or companies that practice gender equity in the workplace.
Being socially responsible means that we are ready and willing to walk the walk even on the financial plain. It is Okay to invest and make a profit but it is not Okay to be irresponsible on a social or environmental issues. Making a profit, regardless of the amount, must be ethical. There is not debate on this topic. We cannot be forgiven for neglecting the good of the earth that was given us as a gift for all mankind. Neither can we be forgiven for neglecting the welfare of the downgtrodden, neglected or abused. And so, let’s do our homework and reap the benefits of a well balanced Christian life simultaneously.
Lorette P. Nault