Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Poverty of Entitlement

 

I was moved by this article in which Randall Smith at The Catholic Thing presents the loaves and fishes story from a new angle. What about the boy? “What boy?” you might be asking.

The five loaves and two fish were his entire food for the day. When the apostles asked him, “Can we have those?” we can imagine him replying: “These? Not these. This is all I’ve got. Go find a rich guy with a big crate of bread.” But he didn’t. He gave the little he had. Not much, but it was enough.

Imagine being him and having people ask you: “You gave the five loaves and two fish that fed five thousand?” What do you say to that? “Well, sort of. It’s not like I fed five thousand people.” “No, but if you hadn’t given the five loaves and two fish, it wouldn’t have happened. It was like Mary. You did your part; you said ‘yes.’ And that made all the difference.”

Sacrificial love does not require wealth. There is always something to give.

The politics of envy is not only ugly and unjust. It impoverishes people both materially and spiritually. In envy, people lose the experience of charity, the aspect of love and gift of spirit that prioritizes others before oneself.

The modern secular ethos says, “You have little and deserve more.” The traditional pious ethos says, “You are blessed by God and should be a blessing for others.” The former condemns the poor as helpless peons deprived of the fullness of life. The latter claims that the poor can enjoy life abundantly and that it is selfless giving which will make them rich.

As Thomas Sowell has said, we are all born poor. Poverty is the natural state of Man and it is wealth that needs explanation. But to be poor is not to be helpless and insignificant. There is nobility in love which cannot be purchased, nor lost. A kind word costs nothing. A smile is not spent but summoned.

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  1. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Well that was a very nice way to start the day.

    • #1
    • February 9, 2020, at 8:54 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  2. Snirtler Member

    I also saw that loaves-and-fishes article at The Catholic Thing. It made me richer to have read it and your post on it.

    • #2
    • February 9, 2020, at 9:23 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  3. Henry Castaigne Member

    What’s going on with all the Jesus stuff on Ricochet these days? Was it the march for life or do churches send our their flyers in February or what?

    • #3
    • February 10, 2020, at 4:07 PM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Why does one person need five loaves and two fishes? It was his duty to surrender the surplus to the collective.

    ;-)

    • #4
    • February 10, 2020, at 4:47 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Misthiocracy ingeniously (View Comment):

    Why does one person need five loaves and two fishes? It was his duty to surrender the surplus to the collective.

    ;-)

    I agree that 5 loaves and 2 fish seems more than one boy’s meal plan for a day. 

    As for private property versus society and poverty, Pope Leo XVIII had strong words in defense of property and warning against socialism, as I’m reading now. 

    • #5
    • February 10, 2020, at 5:36 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Snirtler Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    What’s going on with all the Jesus stuff on Ricochet these days? Was it the march for life or do churches send our their flyers in February or what?

    Hmm. Interesting question. Here’s a theory: Maybe it’s the change in liturgical season from Christmas to Ordinary Time? After the Christmas season, the Gospel readings take up Jesus’s public ministry.

    Grown-up Jesus* is endlessly quotable (e.g. “salt of the earth”, “brood of vipers”, “wise as serpents and simple as doves”, etc) and His parables were the exemplar for effective communication long before the current fashion (to the point of being cliche) for “narrative” and “storytelling”. Even if one isn’t a believer, the Bible ranks among the world’s greatest literature. So Jesus provides lots of material for Ricochet’s Catholic (qualifier removed) writers.

    Don’t know about the liturgical readings for other Christian denominations though.

    *We get a strong hint of the wisdom of the Child Jesus, but like Baby Yoda, we don’t hear much from Him until he becomes an adult.

    • #6
    • February 10, 2020, at 5:41 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    What’s going on with all the Jesus stuff on Ricochet these days? Was it the march for life or do churches send our their flyers in February or what?

    Speaking only for myself, it’s at least partly that I’m bored and exhausted with most of the non-news about impeachment and election season. There’s plenty political to rant about, but nothing I haven’t said before. 

    It also helps that theology and culture discussion is much more natural to me than politics. Like Dennis Prager, I’m a big picture kind of guy. Politics and religion aren’t wholly separate issues anyway, since politics is a practice of group ethics and religious morals+beliefs define ethics.

    • #7
    • February 10, 2020, at 6:34 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Henry Castaigne Member

    To focus on the positive. Slightly poor people in America do alot to help very poor folks. More in charitable work and food than in cash but they give alot. Christian charity is still very much alive and well even without Chick-Fil-A’s funding. 

    • #8
    • February 11, 2020, at 7:57 AM PST
    • 2 likes