It is not wrong to want to live better; what is wrong is a style of life which is presumed to be better when it is directed towards ‘having’ rather than ‘being,’ and which wants to have more, not in order to be more but in order to spend life in enjoyment as an end in itself. It is therefore necessary to create lifestyles in which the quest for truth, beauty, goodness and communion with others for the sake of common growth are the factors which determine consumer choices, savings and investments (Centesimus Annus, 36).
Isn't this so beautiful? I thought so. I stumbled upon it this past week. (If you're like me and have no clue what the Centesimus Annus was, it's an encyclical that was written by Pope John Paul II back in 1991. I used my mad Wikipedia skills to figure that one out. If you've never read anything by John Paul II, you really should. His stuff is amazing.)
What really is determining our choices, savings and investments? What type of lifestyle are we creating? I have to say that I love his use of the word "create" in this context--the idea of being INTENTIONAL in our way of living. Not just living according to our means (if we make a lot, we spend a lot), but striving to really craft a lifestyle that is pure and good and self-sacrificing.
Over the years we've tried to be a bit more intentional about how we live. It seems much easier (for us anyway) to be intentional in the big picture stuff vs. the everyday small stuff. Because it's in the everyday where my intentions meet my exhaustion. But perhaps that is where intentionality matters the most.
Hmmm. There is some food for thought there. As I contemplate the path God has us on with this adoption journey that is so not turning out the way we thought it would--at all--I'm wondering if we're being nudged in a new direction, or called to be intentional in a different way than we'd expected. Instead of feeling frustrated that I don't know where this is headed, or what we should do...maybe it's an opportunity...to pursue truth, beauty, goodness. Creating a lifestyle.
Yes, food for thought to be sure.