May 20


If we are out of touch with what we truly desire, we are easy prey for those who want to tell us what it is. Consumerism encourages us to want something more than what we have whether we need it or not. Advertisers connect our happiness to what we consume; personal worth is linked to having what is the latest new product. Unless we view things critically and reflectively, our desire for spiritual depth and transcendence can slip into a search for a more fulfilling new possession. Discernment helps us to understand the motives for our actions and allows our real yearnings to surface.


Blessed are the poor in spirit.


Listen to commercials critically. What are they telling you about your needs and their fulfillment?

Suggested Reading

Blessed are those who know their need for theirs is the grace of heaven.
Matthew 5:3

The encounter with the living Jesus, in the great family that is the church, fills the heart with joy, because it fills it with true life, a profound goodness that does not pass away or decay. But this experience must face the daily vanity, the poison of emptiness that insinuates itself into our society based on profit and having (things), that deludes young people with consumerism
Pope Francis.

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

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

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

Feckless as it was for Bush to ask Americans to go shopping after 9/11, we all too enthusiastically followed his lead, whether we were wealthy, working-class or in between. We spent a decade feasting on easy money, don’t-pay-as-you-go consumerism and a metastasizing celebrity culture.
Frank Rich

Solid wastes are the discarded leftovers of our advanced consumer society. This growing mountain of garbage and trash represents not only an attitude of indifference toward valuable natural resources, but also a serious economic and public health problem.
Jimmy Carter

American consumerism is about buying things we don’t need,
with money we don’t have, to impress friends we don’t have time for.
Leo Horrigan

It’s a measure of the depth of our consumer trance that the death of the planet is not sufficient to break it.
Kalle Lasn

Advertisers link both personal worth and happiness to what we consume, so that fast cars equal admiration and the latest fashions promise acceptance and friendship.
Kathleen Fischer