Robert Heilbroner, who has written dozens of books on the subject of the economy, suggests that we go through a little mental exercise that will help us count our blessings. Imagine doing the following, and you will see how as religious in our daily life is far more comfortable than a billion people in the world.
1. Take out all the furniture in our convents except for one table and a couple of chairs. Use blanket and pads for beds.
2. Take away all of our clothings except for the oldest shirt and pants and habit. Leave only one pair of shoes.
3. Empty the bodega and the refrigerator except for a small bag of rice, dilis, coffee and a kilo of vegetables
4. Dismantle the bathroom, shut off the running water, and remove all the electrical wiring in our convents.
5. Take away the house itself and move the religious community into the tool shed.
6. Place your “house” in a shantytown.
7. Cancel all subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and book. This is no great loss because now seldom of you read anyway.
8. Leave only one transistor radio for the whole community.
9. Throw away your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, and insurance policies. Leave the community a cash hoard of over a hundred pesos.
10. Give the community a few hectares to cultivate on which the religious brothers can raise a few hundred pesos of crops, of which one third will go to the procuration office.
By comparison, how blest we are; but with our ample material resources comes responsibility. We should use them, not be wasteful, and help others.