Skip to comments.The Rich, Not States, are Called to Help Others
Posted on 02/06/2013 9:17:10 AM PST by marshmallow
At the end of part eight in this series, I observed that Pope Leo XIII lays a heavy obligation upon the rich. What is that obligation? Who are the rich?
Like Thomas Aquinas, whom he admired so well, Leo is quite practical. It is right for a man to provide for his family so that they may live in a becoming way, worthy of their high calling. That implies more than bare necessities. Think of the life of the Church. She is not Puritan. She does not follow the worldly pseudo-asceticism of Judas, who complains that the adulteress has lavished too much on the ointment for Jesus feet. The Church is not drab, nor does she enjoin dreariness upon her children. Our calendar is filled with feasts, and common people, over all these centuries, have delighted in adorning their places of worship with art and music and colorful celebrations.
Most people in America now have the means to live becomingly. But we spend inordinateI use the word advisedlyresources on things that are neither necessary nor becoming; on things that hinder us on our pilgrimage to the celestial homeland, and that make our villages and towns and cities, or whats left of them, less like comfortable way-stations than like moral tarpits or bogs of quicksand. Im not speaking here only of material superfluity. Teachers, professors, doctors, lawyers, advertisers, actors, athletes, journalists, social workers, and politicians possess a superfluity of influence far beyond what a landed gentleman in Leos day possessed. And just as an unscrupulous merchant can corner a market to rifle the capital of the poor man, so too now the foolish and selfish who are rich in influence can, and do, rifle the metaphysical and moral capital of the poorand gain materially and politically from the rifling. That theft....
(Excerpt) Read more at crisismagazine.com ...
Excellent post! I love Anthony Esolen’s writings. I’ve been reading him for years at Touchstone Mag.