So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours? 1 Kings 3:9
“What the world needs now is a return to virtue.
Capitalism and communism have both failed us. With capitalism we are heading towards consuming ourselves out of existence. As has been said many times — if everyone in the world consumed the way the First World countries do, we would need four planets to survive.
And pure communism — the rule by the people for the people — has always ironically ended in dictatorship of one form or another — as demonstrated by Stalin and Mao. The present Communist Party of China is promoting a strange blend of atheistic communism and capitalism that may succeed materially but may also kill the souls of a billion Chinese.
What is necessary is to locate happiness for it’s own sake. We pursue riches and fame because we are told they will make us happy. However, how many so-called “stars” struggle with relationship difficulties, addiction, or mental health challenges?
As a holy man said: “Do not pray for wealth and power and success, pray for wisdom and patience and hope when you are poor, weak and failing.”
We need a kind of meta-religion of happiness, a realization that it is virtues like wisdom and compassion that bring happiness. ‘Meta’ means ‘higher,’ so what we need is a higher religion. Jesus was teaching this meta or higher religion in the Beatitudes: beyond any religion we are only blessed (happy) when we are humble, pure in heart, peaceful, and just.”
Bruce Tallman in God’s Ecstatic Love: Transform your Life with a Spiritual Masterpiece (Apocryphile Press, 2021) 13.
Today’s post comes from my spiritual director and his great book, God’s Ecstatic Love, that expounds on the themes from Francis de Sales classic work, Introduction to the Devout Life.
Having just returned from a formerly communist country to a capitalistic country, I appreciated this call from both totalitarian control and from consumerism, riches, and fame to wisdom, patience, and hope.
It seems that if we want to foster generosity, we need to grow in humility, compassion, purity in heart, and justice. In so doing, God will make us generous as we will reflect His nature.
Let us abandon capitalism and communism and instead choose Christianity. It’s the meta system that won’t consume us or those around us. And it will position us for generous and happy living.