Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thoughts on the simple life- Catholic Distributism at its best!


Dear Friends & Followers:

Here's a great article from the American Chesterton Society:

Distributism: a Twelve-Step Program
Distributism, Editorial — Posted by Sean P. Dailey on March 2, 2011

Adapted from an editorial that ran in our December, 2009 issue:

Gilbert Magazine is inspired to give its readers a gift: a way to detoxify from Capitalism. In favor of what? Distributism, of course. Like that other “concept” found difficult and thus left untried, Distributism is often grossly misunderstood. Over the years, we have received letters claiming it is “foolish,” “impractical,” “backward,” and “unlikely”—strange words to describe the only economic scheme that functions for everyone and that can be sustained over time. Nothing but Distributism, we retort, is more likely to survive the current financial mess we find ourselves in—will enough of us realize it in time, and return to sanity? Toward this end we present the Twelve-Step Program for Distributism, a primer for the reluctant and a refresher course to help our readers kick the Capitalism habit.

Step One. Begin by thinking like a Distributist. A little-known but powerful idea called subsidiarity states that larger entities like states and federal authorities should not assume rights and responsibilities proper to smaller entities, especially the family. The principle works both ways, of course—a thirteen-year-old boy must not presume to switch around signs for the local county roads; neither should the county be permitted to determine whether the boy goes to bed without his supper for the prank. What are the undue influences in your own home? Act to remove these, and fight to keep them out.

Step Two. Look at your possessions. Which do you own and which own you? Possessions that give nothing and drain your checkbook are worse than worthless; get rid of them. Consider possessions as resources, and you will see them in a new light. One person stopped tossing cardboard, kitchen scraps, and old potting soil; he now mixes these with composting worms and grows vegetables and fruits no money can buy. All on his apartment balcony.

Step Three. A billboard appearing nationally displays several small infants with the caption: “Children, our greatest resource.” We cannot say it better. Married? Have a child. Have one? Have another. Find your joy in love of God and family. You’ll never regret it.

Step Four. Stop working for your boss. No, we’re not suggesting you quit your job—ready cash is a resource, after all. Rather, put your job and your boss in their proper place, after the family. Many people work long years for perks that, if they ever come, fail to satisfy. Awards won’t console you on your deathbed.

Step Five. Married? Get your wife fired. Many couples have no idea what a working wife and mother costs the family. Never mind the childcare; how many times a week do you eat out or buy take-home, not because you want to (or even have the money), but simply because mom and dad are exhausted and the kids are screaming? Is your freezer stuffed with “convenience foods”? Did you buy a boat that sits in the backyard ten months out of the year because “Suzy’s working and we can afford it”?

Step Six. Are you thriving, or just surviving? Ever run to the store for something only to discover its twin on the shelf when you got home? Can’t find clean socks? You’ve got a management problem. See Steps Two and Five.

Step Seven. Still working on Sunday when you don’t have to? Even God knew when to quit. Genuine recreation fixes friendships, saves marriages, and restores the soul—play is a serious matter; we can’t live without it.

Step Eight. Resurrect the fine old art of bartering. Yes, the government hates anything that can’t be taxed. But most barters have to do with the rare odd jobs we can’t do ourselves, like fixing a broken eave board on a second-story roof; your neighbor has the equipment; why should you buy them for a one-time job? Especially when he needs a new rotor cap for his old Ford and you have the part.

Step Nine. Learn to feed yourself. The price of food at the grocer’s is increasing out of all proportion to what it’s worth—shipping and packaging costs are responsible. Fresh vegetables are easy to grow in a small garden space or even under fluorescent shop lights. Take up hunting and fishing; study the art of foraging. And when you buy, make it local.

Step Ten. Children learn more by osmosis and less by lecture. Help them do the work proper to them by not stooping to do it yourself. Triumph through struggle is the mother of self-esteem.

Step Eleven. Do you home school or send your children to private school? Attend a local school board meeting anyway, and learn how your tax money is spent. Find out what’s happening at city hall, and hold elected officials accountable. You needn’t run for office—a boar in the ointment is worth at least one in the mayor’s chair.

Step Twelve. Tell a neighbor about Distributism. Tell another one. And another. Once upon a time we were all Distributists, for Distributism is nothing more than the economy of the family. It is, we must repeat, the only system that works. Sustainable business practices and agriculture, holistic management, the return of stay-at-home mothering: these are not mere escapism from a world that is falling down around us. They are attempts to restore something we had and must have again if we are to survive. Best of all, Distributism is free

7 comments:

David said...

God Bless you lead you with His Love & anointing.

PlainCatholic said...

Excellent thoughts; we must lead by example in our spiritual lives as well as our material lives.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if there have been any developments in this community? Our family is looking to live rurally and searching the country for a vibrant community...

Thanks!
Michelle

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What's Your Mission?

-Do you have a pioneering and adventurous spirit?

-Can you "rough-it?"

-Do you desire to win souls to the one true Faith?

-Do the examples of the North American Martyrs and missionary saints inspire you?

-Do you desire to give your youth and your all to Christ through His Blessed Mother?

Then God may be calling you to convert America & serve the poor in the mountains with the Rosarians of the Poor Christ!

Ad Jesum per Mariam!

Two Wonderful & Inspirational Short Videos for You!

Faith of Our Fathers

Ora et Labora

Ora et Labora

A PRAYER FOR THE COUNTRY FAMILY

WE BELIEVE that:

Farming is a noble Christian occupation. The farm home is a most suitable place to rear a Christian family. The good earth is the greatest material gift of God to man.

WE KNOW that:
In this vocation we country people work closely with God in producingthe essential elements of life.

By making ourselves aware of the special graces and opportunities of thisway of life, and by cooperating with them, we and our families can mostreadily give glory to God and grow in holiness and happiness.

The earth returns greatest honor to God when through our care and labor,it brings forth an abundance for our family's needs and those of society, forthis generation and for those to come.

WE PROCLAIM that:

We will strive always to appreciate and hold fast to the spiritual values ofour vocation and to prevent the materialism of this age from blinding us tothem.

We will model our homes on that of Nazareth; by working, learning,playing, and especially praying together we will strengthen our faith inGod and our mutual love and unity; we will fulfill our obligation to be goodneighbors, faithful parishioners, loyal and active citizens.

We will regard our land as God's land; as stewards of His bounty we will conserve and improve it so that it will increasingly continue to give gloryto Him.

WE PRAY that:

Through God's grace we may have wisdom and strength to grow constantly in the virtues necessary for holy rural living: Faith, Hope firmly founded in knowledge of God's wisdom and providence, Love, Patience with the slow deliberate cycle of seasonsand years, Fortitude, Temperance, Compassion, Mercy, Zeal. Amen.

WE GIVE THANKS O GOD, source and giver of all things, who manifests Your infinite majesty, power and goodnessin the earth about us,we give You honor and glory.

For the sun and rain, for the manifold fruits of our fields,for the increase of our herds and flocks,we thank You.

For the enrichment of our souls with divine grace,we are grateful. Supreme Lord of the harvest, graciously accept us and the fruits of our toil, in union with Christ Your Son,as atonement for our sins, for the growth of Your Church, for peace and charity in our homes, for salvation to all. Amen.

PRAYER IN HONOR OF SAINT ISIDORE

O GOD, who taught Adam the simple art of tilling the soil,and who through Jesus Christ, the true vine, revealed yourself the husbandman of our souls, deign, we pray, through the merits of blessed Isidore, to instill into our hearts a horror of sin and a love of prayer, so that, working the soil in the sweat of our brow, we may enjoy eternal happiness in heaven, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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