Wasting Money

Every time I turned around, something was costing more money: a haircut, local produce, a restaurant meal. Then the theatre company called to say that the matinée performance we booked in our subscription was sold out. Should Fred and I change shows or pay more for an evening performance?

We don’t have a lot of money so we’re careful with it. Fred and I talked about the tickets and the recent expenditures as we walked to our weekly contemplative group. “I think I see a pattern emerging. I wonder if God is answering my prayer to help me become less self-centred,” I said. “Instead of whining about the cost, I could enjoy the fact that others are getting what they need.”

“Besides,” I continued, “if I really meant the Ignatian prayer I have been praying, it’s not my money anyway.”

St. Mary Magdelene by Fr Lawrence Lew, OPThat evening a member of our group led. She invited us to use our imagination to pray with the story of the woman who anointed Jesus with perfume. What is Jesus asking you to “waste” for him? she asked us to consider.

I imagined myself as the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume. I resonated the disciples’ dismay: What a waste! Should I do it? Nervously I poured the expensive perfume on Jesus’s head. The scent filled the room and delighted him. It delighted me, too.

Then the scene changed. I saw myself with Jesus pouring perfumed blessings on the people who worked for Pacific Theatre, and then on my hairstylist, the strawberry farmers, and the friend I had lunch with. Each person was filled with joy.

As Fred and I walked home, we talked about the evening and the sold-out matinée. “I want to spend more money and get the evening tickets,” I said. He agreed.

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
– Ignatius of Loyola


Suscipe (Take and Receive) by St. Ignatius of Loyola
Photo of St. Mary Magdalene by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. Used with permission.
Scripture reference: Matthew 26:6-14
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2014.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014  http://www.estherhizsa.wordpress.com.


About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Ignatian Spirituality, Praying with the Imagination, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.