First of all in reference to money it stated that it’s no longer a tool to promote well being and to support the life of man, but instead it has become a force to oppress him. The pursuit of wealth is something that’s almost worshipped in our society and those who have it are often put up on a pedestal even if they don’t deserve it in reference to their character.
Christians need to be non-conformist and not be driven by the pursuit of money. Having money is certainly not a sin in itself but the ways in which we spend it can be. The possession of wealth to us should be considered a blessing and one in which we apply wisely in accordance to God’s will because its really his not ours.
The next topic is the media. Things have changed dramatically since the days of Walter Cronkite where they were strict about the types of stories they ran and the integrity in which they ran them. It has evolved to a point where the underlying truth is hard to find. It has become a medium of appearance not reality where network agendas influence what we hear and see. The end result is that the power of appearance has become more important than reality itself.
This has seeped into all of our lives in that we are more concerned about appearance than truth. We’ve created a world of smoke and mirrors which seeps into our lives in every aspect including our relationship with Christ. We try to create an appearance around those who are professed Christians in order to not show our frailties. With everyone doing the same thing it’s hard to grow as Christians because just like with alcoholics we have to admit we have a problem before successfully pursuing our spiritual recovery.
The bottom line is that we’re called to be different than those who are in the world. The way we chase money and the way we use it when we have it, are ways we can differentiate ourselves from non-believers. The majority of U.S. citizens (wealthy and poor) are often concerned about those things that create a desired appearance not reality. A lot of people are over their heads financially because of where they live and what they drive. A lot of people try to create an appearance that they have it together in their spiritual walk when it isn’t true. The fact is, we’re not different than the world if they don’t know it.
Before I forget the information I’m sharing is based upon an awesome talk given by Pope Benedict.