By Michael H. Brown
WHEN IT COMES TO SOCIAL TURMOIL, THE ONLY REFUGE IS IN THE SANCTUARY OF GOD
Money comes, money goes. You can run but you can’t hide.
Seek not refuge in men.
Where is your money safe?
Are you going to invest in Lehman? It’s not there. AIG? It’s in tatters. Or Morgan Stanley? It’s not an investment bank any longer.
You can go to a big bank but a big bank may have layers of risky investments of which you are not aware and you can go to a regional one that has less in the way of “derivatives” but problems elsewhere that could cause ruptures or a local one but one that has too little backing.
If a bank fails, you can go to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, correct?
The news last week was that the F.D.I.C. no longer has the minimum reserves it is supposed to. It’s not ready to fail, but we can see how the landscape changes around us.
You can invest in gold but that goes up and down or in annuities (tied to the insurance trade) or you can try real estate and you know the risks there. Or stocks, right? They are fluctuating wildly (and irrationally: pay little attention there).
Many have seen savings eaten up in 401k’s. Cash? That could lose value through hyperinflation (which may be caused by the bailout). Treasury Bonds? Those should be safe (and probably are your safest bet) — but they theoretically can also have problems (such as a breakdown in government). At one point last week, they had a negative yield.
And thus you get the point: so complex — and unpredictable — is the current economic climate that there is no guaranteed safe haven for mammon and the same is true of the climate (literally).
In Texas, hundreds of thousands are still without power in the wake of “Ike,” which by the way blasted the windows out of the J. P. Morgan/Chase Building (tallest tower in downtown Houston, ironically).
Last week we were in Ohio — which many believe will be a “refuge” during the coming purification.
A spiritual refuge? Yes. Perhaps not so much otherwise.
Many in that area had been out of power for nearly a week after the remnants of “Ike” swept across the Midwest too — causing a bizarre rainless wind storm that reached gusts of 75 miles per hour and knocked out electricity in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton northern Kentucky, and other parts of a region where (of course) hurricanes are not supposed to occur.
The point: no matter how high or low you go, how far, there is no refuge — but Christ — in a purification. And that’s the only refuge you need. He’ll point you to security.
“Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?” asks Psalms. “Or whither shall I flee from Thy Presence? If I ascend to Heaven, Thou art there! If I make my bed in Sheol, Thou art there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Thy Hand shall lead me, and Thy Right Hand shall hold me. Preserve me, oh God, for in Thee I take refuge.”
Scripture tells us that we see clearly in His sanctuary, while the wicked — who seem to prosper — suddenly find the opposite, for truly dost He “set them in slippery places. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!”
Let us remember that it is just seven years this month since the literal collapse of two buildings in New York in the financial district.
Read Psalms if you want to know how God acts — and if you want to see the word “refuge.”
Many speak of places of refuge but there is truly only the refuge of His sanctuary. Pray, hope, and don’t worry, said Padre Pio.
Flee not in terror; go not into a foreign place. It is the Holy Spirit Who will tell you how to prepare. It is the Holy Spirit Who will tell you where to move (if anywhere). Our refuge is prayer. With Him, there is no running for the hills. There is but joy in the challenges (and always an exit).
There is even a devotion called “Our Lady of Refuge” (on the day after July 4, see image at top left). At right is “Refuge of Sinners.”
Your “safe haven” is in the middle of the Rosary. If you are good you are secure. Just call on Him (not your broker).
Annuities? Gold? Margin calls?
Our modern time is a casino.
Don’t go into debt. That advice we can give: pay off what you can. Move toward self-sufficiency.
And have no fear. God is your refuge. He will not fail you. Just do not fail Him. You can call Him any time you’d like.
The area code is “Jesus I trust in You” — and the number is “Mary take over!” She has surprises in store for you. Fear not.
Jesus I trust in You. Mary take over.
It’s the best “call” that you can make.
[see: Our Lady of Refuge]