THINKING OF THE POOREST
On Earth there is enough for every human being to live with dignity. However, the greed of individuals and organisations maintains a large population with subhuman conditions of health, housing, education, etc.
While some of us are born into abundance, many others are without the bare essentials for life. Apparently, less than 15% of humanity own more than 85% of the resources. This is an intolerable inequality which cries out to heaven.
The feelings which Claret expresses are very noble and instructive: ‘I am even scrupulous about spending anything at all on myself when I think of the needs I can remedy.’ It is known that, on one occasion in his house in Madrid, he ate with one of his nephews, to whom he said at one point: “you will see that I don’t drink wine: not because I don’t like it but in order to save more [money] and therefore help more people’.
Of course Claret’s privations had other motives: that personal freedom which is acquired through self-mastery, the evangelising call to know the value of riches without giving your heart to them… and above all the most perfect imitation of the way of life of Jesus and the apostles. However, the characteristic of solidarity was never absent.
While there are needs to remedy we must question our spending, our consumption, in short our state of living. We must ask ourselves how we could show more solidarity and better distribute the planet’s wealth.
When I am on the point of spending money on myself, do I ask myself if I really need to?