“The monastic tradition has always known about finding God in the daily and the ordinary, so it should not really surprise us that in recent years the monastic vision has escaped the cloister and become the property of many lay people who find that it brings them a down-to-earth refreshment of spirit which sadly they often fail to find in the institutional Church. People are waking up to hear the call of the monastery bell – and if we think of that as the bell for the first Office of the day, which is Vigils, then we are given the further image of a wake-up call, a call to become vigilant, alert, fully awake, fully alive.” ― Esther de Waal, Lost in Wonder: Rediscovering the Spiritual Art of Attentiveness
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants.”
― Esther de Waal
From the first to the last, each book of the Bible; both Old and New Testaments, teaches that we are not to be caught up in amassing wealth, anything beyond a basic need in this life, anything more than the needs for a basic living is a want. Oddly, it has been calculated that 68% of the world's income is generated by a group of people who call themselves Christians; yet, only 3% of that makes its way into a church and an even smaller per cent to world missions.
"Can we claim not to love wealth more than our brothers and sisters in Christ when we see them hurting and do not sacrifice what should matter to us less than their need? While many of us pursue status symbols that television suggests are "necessities," evangelical ministries to the poor claim that forty thousand people die of starvation and malnutrition daily. That means roughly twenty-seven a minute, twenty of whom are children under five years old. (This represents a loss of life roughly equivalent to the first atom bomb being dropped again-every three days.) Wherever possible, people should earn their own wages and not become dependent on charity. But children under five cannot "pull themselves up by their bootstraps," nor can our brothers and sisters in drought- and famine-stricken areas. Those who say, "For the sake of everyone it is better to let the weak die off," are social Darwinists, not Christians; Christians are called to serve the weak.
The world's need is overwhelming, but if as individuals we calculate what resources we do not need and contribute them to ministries like World Vision and Food for the Hungry, we can at least do our part to make a difference in the world, trusting that God will raise up others to join us. One wonders, too, what a witness it would be among the world's poor who are not Christians if they saw that wealthier Christians cared more about the poor than about their own affluence." ---- The IVP New Testament Commentary Series "Seek Treasure in Heaven"