I remember my first Acton event in 2002, a “Toward a Free and Virtuous Society” conference that I attended as a graduate student.
There are a number of things I remember quite clearly, but perhaps most striking was an occasion when someone said something to the effect that those with wealth are able to do more for the Kingdom of God than the poor. This is basically the same view that was once articulated in John Stossel’s special TV program on greed, that Michael Milkin had done more for the poor than Mother Theresa. To this I responded with the example of the widow’s mite (Mark 12; Luke 21). Fr. Sirico then proceeded to correct the mistaken view in a quite, shall we say, pointed fashion.
The lesson: God doesn’t need your money as such. He wants your obedience. He can turn two minas into millions if he so desires, just as he fed thousands with two loaves and some fish. Don’t let your concern about effectiveness and quantitative analysis distract you from the reality that we are called to be obedient and faithful, sine qua non.
Tonight the Acton Institute is hosting its twentieth anniversary Annual Dinnner. Share your favorite Acton memory from the first twenty years below.
Update: It was a great night all the way around. David Bahnsen passes along his reflections on the dinner: “The Liberty to do what we ought.”