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Thursday, 11 June 2015

Waste and The Lack of Good Stewardship

Genesis 4:9 And the Lord said to Cain: Where is thy brother Abel? And he answered, I know not: am I my brother's keeper?

I have not a clue what the Pope's new encyclical will cover on the "environment", but I can say for sure that one of the shocks of being back in the States is the gross waste of resources.

The amount of food which is thrown away in restaurants and even in homes shocks me. Too many Americans order too much, and then discard precious food while millions go to bed hungry. I saw a mom and three kids order Chinese food in a restaurant and then leave most of the the food on the plates. There was enough left over for two more meals for two people. Why? Bad habits?

I have seen people throw away perfectly good items, from furniture to clothes, just because the styles change. Following trends and being taken up by novelty are not virtues.

I have seen furniture near dumpsters which I would have taken, including superb lamps, if I had my own home, instead of living in a furnished place, and so on. Why are things just thrown away and not re-used? Why change for the sake of changing styles? We have become slaves to fashions. Slavery to anything material denies the virtue of temperance to grow in our minds and hearts.

Americans waste resources. Water is another item wasted. Coming from Malta where water is precious, the fact that people use excessive water on gardens, which could be planted more sensibly with drought resistant plants, or with low maintenance plants, astounds me. And, the amount of water used on golf courses, while many of the world's population does not have enough water for drinking or washing, seems criminal.

Good stewardship cannot be seen as something for the liberal Catholics to consider. We must all be good stewards.

A lady told me her mother who died had up to 300 pairs of shoes. Another lady told me that her neighbors change their entire living room YEARLY, furniture, paint, carpet, the whole nine yards.

Charity is not giving away bad clothes, but using things for a long time so that the poor can be given good things which are necessary. I have heard a person say, about a clothes drive for the poor, "Well this is good enough for THEM."

Again, I do not believe in global warming, which has been proven to be a false pseudo-science, but I do hold firmly that such things as organic gardening and sensible use of materials must be considered. We have lost touch with nature, and we are part of nature.

Someone told me he did not like his relatively new car and that he will replace it soon. He just does not like it. Well, why buy something without doing the homework as to whether it meets your needs?

Waste includes the sin of following trends and novelties. Also, narcissism demands that one always buys "the best" and not what is simply necessary.

Traditional Catholics need to stop and look at their spending habits as well as liberal Catholics. Two men told me they were "poor" recently, when they live comfortable middle class lives. They has no idea of real poverty, none, but comparing their own salaries in the mid-50k with those who make much more, they have lost perspective. If a person owns their own house, has a car and eats three meals a day, that person is not poor.

I think of the Garbage Children when these men talk to me in the neighborhood. I think of those who have fallen through the cracks and need the help of their fellow Catholics, do not get it, and become invisible.

The invisible poor need all of us to be good stewards. What is the answer to the question, "

Buying things can become addictive, such as those who get involved with compulsive shopping.

The credit card allows people to pretend to be richer than they are and live lifestyles of deceit.

I hope the Pope addresses good stewardship. By the way, if readers are careful, they can see what I think and what the Church formally teaches are not far apart. Good stewardship has always been taught by the Church. As to the science of global warming, we do not have to agree with documents which do come out of the lower levels of the Church departments. Remember the chaos a few years ago concerning the so-called official socialist document, which was leaked and never officially approved.

Not all things in the 'Osservatore Romano are approved documents. Also, some documents are "working documents" still in process.