Work, Wealth, Poverty and Human Rights - May 15, 2007
The principle of simplicity
Materialism is an obsession with material things. Asceticism is the denial of the good gifts of the Creator. Pharisaism is binding ourselves and other people with rules. Instead, we should stick to principles. The principle of simplicity is clear. Simplicity is the first cousin of contentment. Its motto is, 'We brought nothing into this world, and we can certainly carry nothing out.' It recognizes that we are pilgrims. It concentrates on what we *need*, and measures this by what we *use*. It rejoices in the good things of creation, but hates waste and greed and clutter. It knows how easily the seed of the Word is smothered by the 'cares and riches of this life'. It wants to be free of distractions, in order to love and serve God and others.
-From "The Christian and the Poor" (All Souls Paper: London: All Souls Church, 16 February 1981).