Posted September 17, 2015:
God Owns the Bank

by Veronica Ferri.

"God owns the bank." That’s what my grandpa used to say, and that is what my parents really did believe.

In addition to raising fourteen children, as long as I remember, my parents also sponsored poor families in mission countries and still do today.

My father worked as a psychiatrist for the Canadian military, and though we never experienced poverty ourselves, my parents were often challenged to keep trusting in the loving providence of God. Two such situations made an indelible impression upon me.

One month, when I was ten years old, my parents could not make ends meet. Somehow, between the mortgage, the electricity, the grocery bill, and so forth, there was not enough money to pay our bills.

This was an unusual predicament for us, but one which brought a lot of worry. My parents prayed about it and came to a surprising decision. Instead of using what money they had to pay some of their bills, they would give it to a family in need and ask God to provide for our needs.

It was a leap of faith, counter-intuitive, and what people would call "financially irresponsible," but that is exactly what they did!

That same week a miracle happened. My father received a substantial and unexpected bonus cheque from the military.

My parents were not only able to pay all their bills on time, but they had money left over!

A few years later we were posted to a base in Ontario, and my parents began fervently looking for a house that would accommodate the lot of us. Their real estate agent Dave (not his real name) went over and above his duty to help my parents. He was extremely accommodating, and spent a great deal of gas money driving my parents all over the Ottawa Valley.

After a week, despite their novena to St. Joseph, they were still no closer to finding the right home for our family.

At daily Mass, my parents met a parish priest who told them that the diocese was selling the vacated Precious Blood Monastery in town. My parents drove by the large convent and spacious property and looked at each other in amazement. It was perfect!

They felt that God really wanted them to have this house, but they felt torn. How could they deprive Dave of the sale? How could they honestly drop this agent who had worked so generously for them?

They went to their hotel room and prayed. They came to the decision that they would not buy the convent, as perfect as it seemed. If God wanted to give them a house, he would do it through honest means.

No sooner had they made their decision, than the phone rang. It was Dave calling, excited about a house he had just been contracted. "It used to be a convent," he said. "Are you interested in taking a look?"

My parents were dumbfounded. It turned out that the diocese had just contacted Dave asking him to be the realtor for the convent and property. God had honored their prayer!

We bought the convent, and Dave received the commission. It was the ninth day of their novena.

In my own vocation within Madonna House, I find myself re-visiting these faith lessons. I constantly have to trust and go against my instinct for self-preservation. So often it is out of my nothingness that God asks me to give. I want to tell him, "I’m too tired," or "I’m inexperienced," or "I’m not ready."

But I know that my Father in heaven is with me. I know that I will not run out of the treasure that he wants me to share with others.

Even as I share, he gives me more. I have the storehouses of heaven opened to me if I do not cling to what I have. I am rich. I have God!

Do not worry then, saying,

‘What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear for clothing?" It is the Gentiles who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. 


Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God’s saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well (Mt 6:31-33).


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