Earlier this week, September 29th, was the feast day of Saint Michael. In the familiar picture below, St. Michael is depicted with wings and brandishing a sword. This reflects his status as an angel and the leader of God’s heavenly host. The archangel is engaged in warfare with the devil, who is shown here defeated and under St. Michael’s foot. Oddly enough, this picture got me to thinking about investing (but, then again, lots of things get me thinking about investing 🙂 )
What does the picture, in its most basic form, show? Clearly, this is a battle between good and evil.
Invest in Goodness
How does this relate to investing? Well, if our investments bolster companies that are committing evil acts, on whose side of this pictured battle would you suppose that puts us?
This is precisely why Catholic Investment Strategies offers a clearly faithful way to invest. Built upon the Investment Guidelines of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, companies involved in proscribed activities are avoided. Those that are less than “squeaky clean” are engaged in a dialogue intended to get them to tidy up their acts. And the results of those dialogues have been very impressive, ranging
from hotel companies acting to rid their facilities of child sex rings, to the corporate defunding of Planned Parenthood, to avoiding the use of slave labor in Brazil.
As you think about whether faithful Catholic investing is right for you, remember the words of Jesus in Luke 11:23: “He who is not with me is against me.” Surely, if you act to eliminate evil in the world, you’ll find yourself on the right side.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” —Luke 12:33-34
About our guest blogger
Tom Carroll spent twenty-six years with Mason Street Advisors, the investment management subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual Life. At Mason Street, Tom headed the company’s foreign equity investment team as Managing Director. Previously, Tom served as an equity portfolio manager and/or analyst at Texas Commerce Bank, MGIC Investment Corporation, and Trust Company of Georgia. Tom is President Catholic Investment Strategies. Learn more about his company by visiting https://www.catholicinvestments.com/
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 19, 2019.
“Ow, ow. My pants are wet! My pants are wet!” I woke up to this sound of my three year old crying in the basement. Remembering the constant thunder and lightning that boomed and flashed throughout the night, I jumped up and rushed down the stairs. Immediately, my fears were confirmed. Water. Pouring. Through. The. Window.
I wish I was more composed initially. I want to say I remained calm and did not curse. Sadly, that is not true. Frustration seared through my veins. I quickly brought my son upstairs and had my wife attend to him. Next, I zoomed outside to start vacuuming up the raising water with the wet-dry vacuum. A full moon +a teething baby +flash flood= a bad start to the day!
According to author Margaret J. Wheatley, “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way.” If I did not reflection on my situation, I would have meandered aimlessly for the rest of the day. I want to share three incredibly simple words to remember when stress slams you down.
Stop. Wait. Halt. Either way you describe it does not matter. Just make sure you pause. Stressful situations keep us moving and moving. Faster and faster until our emotions blow up! Pausing to stop the seething sea of stress coursing through my body and mind definitely helped. I took a short break to compose myself.
The second key word to think about during stressful times is perspective. According to American psychologist William James, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
Perspective allows us to pick a different thought over the negative ones that flood your mind during stressful times. The natural result from pausing during a stressful situation is the ability to develop a perspective. Perspective actually derives from the Latin perspectus meaning “of sight, optical” or perspectiva, “science of optics.”
Perspective also relates to being able to view things from a different point of view. Setting a moment or even a couple minutes of time aside to take a break or simply closing your eyes to reset your mind helps in developing perspective. For instance, I started to develop negativity at work today. When I sensed negativity gnawing at me, I left my desk and took a short bathroom and water break. That small break gave me the opportunity to reset my attitude—shifting my perspective.
The third simple word to remember to help overcome stressful situations is plan. Unlike pausing and taking time for changing your perspective, planning does not always occur instantly or at the same time anxiety hits you. Pause and perspective are offensive tactics to fight stress. Planning is more of a long-term and defensive in nature.
Planning takes time a bit on effort on your part. There is no one size fits all shield of a plan to combat anxiety. I am reminded of Captain Cold’s quip in the CW’s The Flash, “Make the plan. Execute the plan. Expect the plan to go off the rails. Throw away the plan!”
Pause. Perspective. Plan. Two weapons and a guard to battle anxiety. While these are incredibly simple tools you need to utilize these daily. Life does not take a day off. Neither can you! I guarantee that if you consistently use these tactics your mentality will change. You will gain more stamina to stave off negativity. You will be more hopeful, confident, and grateful. I hope you found value in this article. If you have any additional thoughts, tips, or tactics to battle stress please share in the comments section!