4/23/2012 1:54:00 PM Limiting material goods is a path to salvation
Catholic News Service photo
A woman prays before the start of Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
To the Catholic Sentinel:
We often hear from the pulpit that material things offer no barrier to salvation as long as we do not hold an inordinate desire for them. Usually this is said in a way so as not to offend or disturb the wealthy. But Jesus tells us in all clarity: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt 19:24).
What is demanded of all Christians is fasting, abstinence, restriction of personal desires and pleasures, intense prayer, confession, and similar ascetic elements. Holy Week was a sacred time of divine grace, seeking to detach us from things material, lowly and corrupt in order to attract us toward things superior, wholesome and spiritual. It was a unique opportunity to remove from the soul every inordinate passion so as to make room for the immense rejoicing and gladness of Easter.
Limiting ourselves to what is absolutely essential and necessary is an attitude of dignified, deliberate simplicity. It is a formula for patience and tolerance, an opportunity to acknowledge and emphasize our need for God’s assistance and mercy, placing our complete trust in His affectionate providence; it is a prescription for salvation.