July 12

Reflection

Consumerism leads to disrespect not only of the earth’s resources, but of its people.
In reflecting on food scarcity, Pope Francis drew several parallels between throwing food away and throwing human life away. He suggested that our culture of consumption leads both to our reckless disposal of land, resources, and food, and to our neglect of our brothers and sisters. He also denounced our culture for being obsessed with money.

About 800 years ago, St. Francis of Assisi struggled with a similar problem. He had to act radically to counter this trend and turn people’s eyes toward the suffering of their brothers and sisters. Although Francis did many radical things, his most radical act was simply to love and care for creation. Francis realized the importance of a spiritual consciousness of creation and community. This consciousness catalyzed Francis’ compassion for those that society judged to be “lesser” of creation. Francis showed compassion not only for the poor and the lepers, but for plants and animals. He professed that concern for any of God’s creatures, great or small, overflowed into concern for all of God’s creation.
Adapted from Education for Justice

Prayer

For it is in giving that we receive…
Francis of Assisi

Action

A recent newscast reported that business is improved but that consumers are still buying what they need and not yet buying what they want. What does this say about our culture? How does it affect your own consumer behavior? How does it affect people’s real needs? Their awareness of global concerns?

Suggested Reading

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25:21 -33

In an age of overconsumption of scarce Earth resources, of forced extinction of species of wildlife, of dominance of humans over other members of the biotic community, and of pollution of Earth’s air, land and water, Francis of Assisi models alternative modes of consciousness and conduct.
John Hart

Man is not in charge today; money is in charge, money rules.
Pope Francis

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
Hans Hofmann

Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter.
Terri Guillemets

Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.
Charles Warner

Who is rich?  He who rejoices in his portion.
The Talmud

The folly of endless consumerism sends us on a wild goose-chase for happiness through materialism.
Bryant H. McGill

It is advertising and the logic of consumerism that governs the depiction of reality in the mass media.
Christopher Lasch

Contemplation is an alternative consciousness that refuses to identify with or feed what are only passing shows. It is the absolute opposite of addiction, consumerism or any egoic consciousness.
Richard Rohr

We live in an era of consumerism and it’s all about desire-based consumerism and it has nothing to do with things we actually need.
Aloe Blacc

Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence – those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.
Aldous Huxley

To live fully, we must learn to use things and love people, and not love things and use people.
John Powell

 I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.
Emile Gauvreau

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can.
John Lennon

There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more.
The other is to desire less.
 G.K. Chesterton

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