What the Prosperity Gospel Lacks

But like many forms of liberal Christianity, the marriage of God and Mammon half-expects somehow to undo the Fall, through the beneficence of Providence and the magic of the free market. In its emphasis on the virtue of prosperity, it risks losing something essential to Christianity—skipping on to Easter, you might say without lingering at […]

Joy and Having Everything

Pleasures are severely limited in duration. Not only do they last for a given length of time, but if one makes and attempt to extend them unduly, they issue in satiety and disgust. Too much ice cream at one time leads not only to eventual illness; it can lead to a dislike at the moment […]

Happy are you poor. Really?

Popular or not, frugality in faith brings joy. Indeed, in the words of the Lord himself, it is a blessed condition (Lk 6:20). His teaching would rank at the bottom of the opinion polls, but unmistakably it is his teaching nonetheless “Happy are you poor.” By all standards of this world these four words are […]

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 […]

Illusion and Factual Frugality

But when it comes to our routine choices and decisions, most of act as though we are by no means strangers and nomads here below. We assume that we belong here, that this is our fatherland, that our security is enhanced by a higher salary, a paid-up mortgage, and adequate coverage by insurance. Most people […]

The Spiritual Life and the Inverse Relationship between Influence and Affluence

—from Happy are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom by Fr. Thomas DuBay This love for elegance and for money has a peculiar deadening effect in the spiritual life. Saint Philip Neri used to remark that it is far easier to convert a lustful person to God than a covetous one. —Ch. 6: […]