Some Quotations about Poverty


I don't quite understand the purppose of a book like Less is More: The Art of Voluntary Poverty, unless, like many devotionals it is designed to provide food for meditation and reflection. I don't much care for devotionals, and most books of quotations give only momentary interest. However, this has some interesting reflections both from the relligious world and the secular world against the society of consumption and use.

from Less is More
Edited by Goldian Vanderbroeck

We forgot that the sensual objects were pleasant and cool only like the shade under the hissing hood of an angry serpent and we sought them as capable of giving us happiness. --Sri Changrasekhara Bharati Swamigal, d. 1954

Riches destroy the foolish, if they look not for the other shore; by his thirst for riches the foolish many destroys himself as if he were his own enemy. --Dhamapada

Let thy walk be an interior one. Blessed Henry Suso, ca. 1295-1365

A certain hermit named Kyo-yu owned nothing whatever: even water he drank out of his hand. Seeing this, someone gave him a bowl made of a gourd. One day, he hung it on the branch of a tree but the wind made it bang about and rattle noisily, so he took it and threw it away and drank water out of his hand as before.-- Yoshida Kenko, 1283-1350

In everything, love simplicity.--St. Francis de Sales, 1567-1622

Unless a man is simple, he cannot recognize God, the Simple One.--Bengali Song

That most of us are considered poor is no disgrace, but does us credit; for, as the mind is weakened by luxurious living, so it is strengthened by a frugal life.--Minucius Felix 3rd Century AD

Teach children to want little while they are little.--Surya Prem, 1965

Luxury enters into citities in the first place, afterwards satiety, then lascivious insolence, and after all these destruction.--Pythagoras, 6th century BC

What is detachment? That which clings to nothing. Spiritual poverty clings to nothing, and nothing clings to it.--Johannes Tauler, 1300-1362

Possessions give me no more than I already have.--Rene Pascal, 1623-1662

A variety of thoughts on the subject of voluntary poverty and simplicity of spirit. The two are not identical, but they do walk hand-in-hand. I do not think simplicity of spirit is possible as long as we continue to desire more of anything. Until we can learn to be content where we are, we will largely be unable to advance. And this must be one of the very hardest lessons for those of us living in one of the most privileged places and cultures of all time.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 27, 2004 7:03 AM.

Prayer and Praise--27 August 2004--St. Monica was the previous entry in this blog.

From the Epistle of the Joy of the Lord--III is the next entry in this blog.

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