An Introduction to the Devout Life continues, with another chapter that will be a bit more relevant to a lot of us than we’d like. Even most Americans who live below the poverty line are well-to-do by the standards of the rest of the world, and rich by the standards of history. So those of us who are doing okay, are like Bill Gates compared to someone really poor.
As a bibliophile and fan, I’ve spent a lot of years chasing avidly after certain material objects, not just using them with due diligence and care. Though middle age has freed me from a lot of the overenthusiasm, I still probably get a lot more into things than good sense really warrants, whereas I probably should be having the screaming fits of delight over doing good works. And yes, I did occasionally get a warning word from people about this; but it was never about greed and materialism, even when my greed was really kinda nakedly visible. We only think of greed as being about money, not about collecting or following your hobby, or buying everything that you can afford. Just because you can afford it, doesn’t mean you should be buying it or buying it right away. We need to separate our hearts a bit from naked desire, so that we can tell what we need from what we just like and can pass up. And we don’t always have to feel obliged to get what we want.