Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why material poverty deserves a second look

Poverty.  Scary and stressful.  But think about it...many religious people take vows of poverty.  As we heard in this Sunday's reading, Jesus asks us to be poor.  So maybe it's worth a second look.  I loved Kathe's post yesterday about clearing out the things that distract you from God or get in the way of your relationship with Him.  I think that is definitely a key element.  And this weekend at mass, Father Al talked about a similar idea.  But is there something to be said about physical poverty?

A few years ago I took a trip to a children's home in Guatemala.  Those kids had very little material things.  I didn't see a smart phone, a computer, closets full of clothes.  Those kids didn't have iPods or professionally manicured nails.  They didn't have their own room, Xbox's, or bikes.  They rarely get to see their family.  But do you know what they did have?  A knowledge and understanding of what's truly important in life.  They didn't need those possessions.  They had happiness.  They had love.  I would say that in many ways, they are much more "rich" than many communities here.

Because so many potential worldly distractions were non existent, they had time to develop their gifts and talents, to learn about God, and to enjoy the company of the people who God has placed in their life.  I'm not saying that material things are bad.  I'm saying let's reevaluate the way we use them.  So why would many religious people take vows of poverty?  Why would Jesus ask us to become poor?  Maybe it's because we have to learn that Christ is all we need.  Kind of like learning the hard way.  But once we recognize that we don't need our technologies and Tom's shoes, look how much freedom has been gained!  Everyone want's to be happy right?  What, then, do you think will gain you true happiness?  God's love or material possessions?

Do you know what your God given talents are?  Do you develop and use them for good?  Do you take time to be amazed by the stars?  Do you stop and thank God for the beautiful people He has placed in your life?  Or are you like me and often get caught up in your own agenda?

The truth is, we need God.  We need His guidance, His love, His companionship and His help.  We don't need our cameras and Pinterest.  Maybe we need to reevaluate the importance these things hold for us.  If we value our possessions more than our relationship with Christ or constantly put them before God, then maybe we should spend some time in prayer asking God why.

Until next time,

No comments:

Post a Comment