goods

A Heartless Cult of Money

[T]HE MAJORITY OF THE men and women of our time continue to live daily in situations of insecurity, with dire consequences. ... One cause of this situation, in my opinion, is in our relationship with money, and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society. Consequently the financial crisis which we are experiencing makes us forget that its ultimate origin is to be found in a profound human crisis, in the denial of the primacy of human beings. We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old (Exodus 32:15-34) has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal. The worldwide financial and economic crisis seems to highlight the distortions and above all the gravely deficient human perspective, which reduces [people] to one of [their] needs alone, namely, consumption. Worse yet, human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away. We have begun a throw- away culture. This tendency is seen on the level of individuals and whole societies; and it is being promoted ...

While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies that uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good. ... I encourage the financial experts and the political leaders of your countries to consider the words of Saint John Chrysostom: “Not to share one’s goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life. It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs.” ...

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Being Christ in a Consumer Christmas

Christmas light display at the Yodobashi-Akiba store, Japan. http://bit.ly/usVkK
Christmas light display at the Yodobashi-Akiba Department store in Akihabara City, Japan. Image via http://bit.ly/usVkKm

Beneath the usual clamor of the holiday season is the faint din of anger.

Once again many have raised their voices regarding the “secularization” of Christmas. Armed with slogans such as “Keep Christ in Christmas,” they ensure we don't forget that this is a holiday about Jesus of Nazareth.

Common greetings such as, “Happy Holidays” are met with a defensive, counter-greetings of “… and Merry Christ-mas to you too.” 

Try using the abbreviation “Xmas.” Some folks believe this is literally “X-ing” Jesus out of the Christmas!

What seems to be glaringly absent from these vocal Christmas Crusaders is any protest against the gross consumerism, greed and selfishness that arrives every year with holiday season.

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