“Lord, help us to live the virtue of generosity, to love without limits.”

– Pope Francis

I reject many of the labels of my millennial generation except for the one about carrying cash. I never have it on me. Mental math is a problem, going to an ATM or bank branch always feels like an Iliadic adventure, not to mention the fact that I am a sucker for points, miles, and cash back reward deals. So, when our primary personal card was hacked a week ago, I was frustrated but took a deep breath and turned, thankfully, to a secondary credit card we keep for specific purposes. Unfortunately, I forgot that some of those purposes were Christmas gifts, tuition and donations, not to mention house repairs - all of which happened around the same time this year. Within a day, we reached our credit limit and for a few days between when my payment kicked in and the new card arrived, we were without access to something we use multiple times a day.

When my high schooler asked me to order something online, I went into a long woe-is-me tale about my temporary financial paralysis. She rolled her eyes and reminded me that 99% of the rest of the world experiences no access to credit daily, with no relief in sight. As she traveled back to her bedroom, I heard her refuse to lend her slightly younger sister a sweater because she didn’t believe she would get it back in good shape. As my middle-schooler slouched on the couch, she expressed her frustration of being denied the benefit of the doubt.

Given how they both treat their clothes, I couldn’t argue with her older sister, and yet I felt a strange sense of camaraderie with the one being denied the sweater. I couldn’t help but reflect on who I lend “credit” to and who I don’t. In life and leadership, how do I determine who gets the space to figure things out, to try new possibilities, to take chances? As a leader, do I understand how I borrow trust, and am I faithful in doing my part to replenish and increase the limits? Do I appreciate that, in my relationship with the Lord, there is no limit to His love and forgiveness? Am I as just and merciful in my “lending” practices?

As I regained access to one of my cards, I gave thanks for being blessed to only experience a first world inconvenience, and I decided with respect to some relationships that I needed to raise the limit of what I was willing to share. As we welcome another Lent, let’s ask the Lord to lift the limits on our hearts so we can give to others as He gives to us.

by Daniel Cellucci

February 19, 2024

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