Don’t Be a Fool on April 1

johnAlthough April Fools Day is not an official holiday, we all recognize it as a special day. Many different cultures have had days of foolishness around the start of April, give or take a few weeks. The Romans had a festival named Hilaria on March 25, rejoicing in the resurrection of Attis. The Hindu calendar has Holi, and the Jewish calendar has Purim.  Some believe that April Fools Day came from a brief reference in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Others think it was created when Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar to replace the old Julian calendar, thus moving the start of the new year to January first.

Perhaps there’s something about this time of year, with its turn from winter to spring, that lends itself to lighthearted celebrations. Regardless of its origin, April first is a day for carrying out lighthearted jokes on friends and relatives and having a good laugh. Practices include sending someone on a “fool’s errand,” looking for things that don’t exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.

We can easily recover from a simple (albeit surprising) April Fools’ prank, but permanent foolishness about important matters can leave an indelible mark on our lives.  When we decline to take a Catholic perspective on finances and deny that our finances are in trouble, and when we deny the roots of that trouble, we are being truly and decidedly foolish.

Taking a long hard look at your finances can often reveal where you made foolish mistakes.  Perhaps you spent too much money eating out, entertaining friends or shopping based on wants rather than needs. Then there were all those impulse purchases that increased your credit card debt. Maybe you are unable to save due to overspending.

Chances are that even if you have made foolish mistakes you’ve found yourself resisting change and reform. And the last place most people go for financial counsel is the Bible.  Proverbs 1:7 warns us against these foolish behaviors: ”Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

When it comes to your finances and your role as a Christian Steward, don’t be a fool. Plan your budget with a Catholic perspective on finances. You’ll find that wise decisions become much easier to make.

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