The Ultimate Interest Free ‘Vacation’

October 18, 2018

With the coming of frigid winter weather many look to vacation destinations — sunny, warm, beachy places where we can re-charge. We then look at our bank accounts and for some that might mean collecting on a loan, with the usually accepted interest rates of our world to make our vacation possible.

Today’s Psalm asks those who wish to dwell on God’s holy mountain to live according to certain moral precepts; one of which is to take no interest on a loan.

Psalm 14:2-5
Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne.
Lord, who shall dwell on your holy mountain?
He who walks without fault;
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart;
he who does not slander with his tongue.
Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne.
He who does no wrong to his brother,
who casts no slur on his neighbour,
who holds the godless in disdain,
but honours those who fear the Lord.
Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne.
He who keeps his pledge, come what may;
who takes no interest on a loan
and accepts no bribes against the innocent.
Such a man will stand firm for ever.
Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne.

It’s buried and often overlooked. By past standards, before the period know as the Enlightenment, our acceptable interest rates would have been called usury. And, “usury,” says Chesterton, “is in its nature at war with life.” Our Encyclical tradition has condemned usury, specifically Vix Pervenit and Rerum Novarum. Why? Because it takes life from another child of God.

So a suggestion, remember we are Franciscans — this winter offer your debtors interest free repayment on anything owed you. Or even more, aka, just give it away. God is never outdone in generosity. And if that noble act prevents you from reaching a sunny vacation this year with your family consider the ultimate vacation destination the Lord gives — the Holy Mass. There on His mountain we are truly re-charged.

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