Give up the search for wealth,
It is demeaning.
This part of the First Rule is a new one on me. I am used to reading about how money is the root of all evil, that money is a false God, and I have listened to Luis preach about how wealth and money by themselves are not evil, but it is our attraction, obsession, and attitude about money that turns us away from God. But I have to admit I had never considered that the search for wealth was “demeaning.”
I dedicated this morning’s meditation toward the admonition and recommend you do so as well. It holds a lot of promise toward a way of living in the spirit of loving kindness. Consider the possibility that nothing you do in the day is geared toward the search for wealth. You can still go to work, but you do so to serve and help others not in the search for wealth. Getting paid may be a byproduct, it may help you be compassionate, it may help you serve your family, friends, and neighbors, but it is not done in search for wealth.
Suzy, of course will say Webb you are being naïve. Maybe I am. But isn’t there a certain beauty in naïveté?
The word “demeaning” is troubling to me. It presumes that something is beneath us, and that in itself is bothersome. But I don’t think that is what Benedict is talking about. I think he was saying we each have so much more we can and should be doing than searching for wealth. Don’t sell ourselves short.
Eight words sure can say a lot. I bet you find a lot more in them than I did in a short morning’s meditation. Take a brief moment to consider them. Search for God’s message to you in the words not wealth.
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