…if the citizens themselves devote their life to matters of trade, the way will be opened to many vices. Since the foremost tendency of tradesmen is to make money, greed is awakened in the hearts of the citizens through the pursuit of trade. The result is that everything in the city will become venal; good faith will be destroyed and the way opened to all kinds of trickery; each one will work only for his own profit, despising the public good; the cultivation of virtue will fail since honour, virtue’s reward, will be bestowed upon the rich. Thus, in such a city, civic life will necessarily be corrupted.
Francois Fenelon, in his book Christian Perfection, wrote: “It is a wise self-love, which wants to get out of the intoxication of outside things.” Before I can free myself from the lure of material things, I have to become more sensitive to the things of the spirit, which will diminish my chances of being dazzled by superficial allurements. More important than a new car or the fastest computer will be the latest revelation from God on how I can better love my neighbor while at the same time deflecting my own self-centered greed. Through simplicity we learn that self-denial paradoxically leads to true self-fulfillment. Simplicity allows us to hold the interests of others above out self-interest. Real simplicity is true freedom. The constant drumbeat of materialism will no longer be deafening. We will desire less, and be happy with less.
Gerry Straub, “Holy Simplicity”, Gerry Straub’s Blog
For those who think the world has gone mad, remember this is not our first rodeo. Sanity has only been with us in bits and pieces throughout history. Evil and persecution is a mainstay on this planet. For a time, some of us were lured into complacency back when television was wholesome, babies were protected blessings, and it seemed we all agreed on what was evil and what was good.
He would tell his sons that she was the way of perfection, the pledge and earnest of eternal riches. No one was so greedy of gold as he of poverty; no one more careful in guarding a treasure than he in guarding this pearl of the Gospel.
~Thomas of Celano, The Second Life of St. Francis of Assisi
Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.
~St. Francis of Assisi, Admonition 27