I hear a lot on the radio and television, and in other places, about the need to spend money.
I realise that spending needs to happen in a healthy society so that all can benefit.
However, there are a number of traps that we can fall into regarding having more things.
We live in a consumer culture.
Also, individualism affects so much of what we do.
We tend to worship the ego.
There is so much about ‘me’ in our western culture.
We grow up in a capitalistic and individualistic world view.
There is much about being in control, about self-determination, about having more, about being important.
These values are often in stark contrast to what the Gospel sees as important.
In Philippians 2: 5-8, Jesus, by a free choice, empties Himself and makes Himself a servant of all.
He also tells us that foxes have holes, birds have nests, and the ‘Son of Man’ has nowhere to lay his head.
He tells his disciples to leave everything and to follow Him.
He tells the rich young man, “If you want to be perfect, go sell everything and give your money to the poor, then come follow Me”.
It doesn’t mean that we all have to live like St. Francis and give everything away.
Of course, if we have families to support, children to educate, we need to act responsibly. We cannot be St. Francis, but we can sure learn from him and his prophetic witness! Still, we are all called not to be attached to power, possessions, control, not to be over-attached to ……
Letting go is part of the spiritual life.
Christian mystics, like St. John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, and so many other spiritual authors remind us that emptying ourselves is what helps us to see and know God. We get so encumbered by excess baggage.
One can say that less is more. A cautionary word from St. Paul:
“If I give everything away but have not love it is useless”.