Happy Are You Poor?

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Has anyone read Fr. Thomas Dubay’s book, “Happy Are You Poor, The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom”? If so, what did you think of it and did if affect your lifestyle? It was a real eye opener for me. I’ve never heard anything like it from the pulpit, but I believe in what he says and will challenge myself to rise to the call of a “sparing-sharing lifestyle.” I’d like to hear your thoughts.
I’d like to hear how you manage bringing your husband around. Mine doesn’t want to read the book and doesn’t want to hear about it. It’s pretty odd to me as he usually loves any theological book he can get his hands on! I think he’s worried about his golf club membership (which is a pretty self indulgent use of quite a bit of money). Oh well, I’ll leave it to prayer.
I am very thankful to have heard this message (you are right on when you said it hasn’t been addressed from the pulpit) at a fairly convenient time in my life. We don’t yet have children and we are still haven’t had time to collect that many “things”. I imagine that for other people who are used to nice clothes or fancy vacations that it might be a real struggle to give those up.
I’ve cut back on expensive groceries like meat and the occasional impulse purchase. Most of the big things (like my car) will have to wait as they are much harder to change. I do think that I will buy a much cheaper used car next time around (I have an SUV now).
Fr. Dubay seems to focus on our duty to help those less fortunate in other countries. I have definately increased my donations to local charities and the church, but I am haven’t really found a charity that works in other countries yet. And I wonder if it is better for me to spread my contributions around or if I should concentrate on just one charity. It probably doesn’t matter because it’s not like I have that much money to donate!
I am most impressed with how my outlook on material goods has changed for the better.
I had to laugh when I read your post. My husband is also a golfer and belongs to a club. He pays the dues at the office so I never see the bill. If I did, I would probably faint. I don’t know about other sports, but it seems to me that golfing and obsession go hand in hand. If I ever get an opportunity to speak with Fr. Dubay, I am going to ask him on ideas for implementing a sparing-sharing lifestyle with a spouse who doesn’t see it that way. I am fortunate that my husband has me pay all the bills, do all the shopping and allows me to at least tithe. I am allowed to direct the tithe to any charity that I like. It reminds me of the saint (name escapes me) who kept giving bread to the poor and her in-laws opened her cloak or apron to try to catch her taking the bread for the poor and only saw flowers or something. It doesn’t sound like her spouse was into the sparing-sharing lifestyle and she still managed to become a saint so there’s hope. Even though we are not in union of agreement as to our lifestyle, there is still a lot I can control from my end of things. I don’t have to dress fancy even if he does. I chose a used van for my vehicle. I don’t go out a lot or have a consuming social life or spending habits. Our house is nice, but simple. As far as charities, you might want to look into Ave Maria Missions which has a child sponsorship program. They can be reached at One Ave Maria Drive, P. O. Box 373, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-0373, phone 734-930-3596. They sponsor children in Honduras at Ave Maria Missions Catholic School. You also can write and send small gifts if you would like. Also, a Caremlite Father came to our church and spoke on their new mission in Africa. The Holy Father appealed to their order to go to Africa and see what they could do. You may inquire about their work by writing to the Carmelite Mission Office, at P. O. Box 347, Oakville, CA 94562. There are a lot of orphans in need of help in Africa. Since you do not have any children yet, you have a great advantage in hearing this news now. The more kids you have, the less you will want clutter and knick knacks. At first you may want to decorate your house with all kinds of stuff, but as the workload grows with each additional child, you will be wanting to toss out every item that costs you valuable time in cleaning and maintaining it. To think of all the silly things I have wasted money on over the years! Good Luck.
Yes, I have read the book and thought it was pretty good. How did it affect me? Well, our family pretty much already lives a life of what I call “holy poverty”. Never earned much money, never accumulated the “things” that others find so necessary to have. We are very ornery folks and delight in not having the things others find so necessary. No dishwasher, no microwave, have one vehicle for family use, dress modestly, have a garden for food and flowers, and have chickens for eggs and meat and planning on a few more animals. Our meals are simple, prepared with what we grow. We do not eat in restaurants. What amazes me is that some folks seem to be upset that we live this way. My mom gave us this computer because we were not planning on buying one. She gets so upset when we don’t have or want material stuff. She just bought it and dropped it off one day. I have a love/hate relationship with it, and I question myself whether it is wise to keep it. It is very useful for information and homeschooling, but, how much info do I need? I might hurt my brain. 😃

By not pursuing money and all the “stuff” we have time for daily mass, prayer, reading, and our homesteading activities and some extra money for charities, missions, etc. I highly recommend reading the book and praying about Fr. Dubay’s message.

God bless,
I’m a college student and very interested in this as i will soon be getting married and I won’t have a decent job until i graduate in 3 years. I can’t really afford books, do you know of any good websites??
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