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The Not-So-Best Sellers

It would be no problem at all to list a dozen themes that are both prominent in the New Testament and are rarely spoken of from most pulpits. Among these we may mention self-denial, temptation, sin, evil or idle talk, sparing-sharing way of life, virginity, detachment, continual prayer, hell, heaven. Factual poverty is one of these unpopular subjects.

It is popular to speak about the third and fourth worlds and to assail the injustices of nations, but this sort of oration leaves both the speaker and the listeners in their comfortable modes of life. Hence no one much objects. It is fashionable in religious circles to speak and write about joy and celebration and resurrection, and for this there are many ready ears. But it is quite another matter when it comes to penance, mortification, sorrow, suffering and asceticism. There are no best sellers that deal with these subjects.

—from Happy are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom by Fr. Thomas DuBay, Ch. 15: Happy Are You Poor



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