Saturday, February 27, 2010

Money, property, and prestige

The cemetery atop the hill overlooking the administrative boundary line continues to haunt my reflections since my arrival back to post. There are a lot of cemeteries here in Kosovo, and too many of them have too many graves from just over ten years ago.

The things we humans do to one another, and for what?

My friends who go to a lot of AA and Al-Anon meetings remind me that 'problems of money, property, and prestige' can 'divert us from our primary [spiritual] purpose'.

They also keep telling me that 'it is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness'. Furthermore, 'when harboring such feelings, we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the spirit'.

I suspect they're on to something there.

Resentment is a soul-killer.

The cemeteries throughout the Balkans clearly demonstrate the consequences of institutionalized resentment having infecting whole cultures. Problems of money, property, and prestige have wreaked death and destruction here for a long time, because, sadly, resentment measures its lifespan in centuries and millennia.

From what I've read lately, there seems to be more and more resentment becoming institutionalized in our own country, spreading like an infection throughout society. Let's hope that appropriate spiritual preventive measures can be taken before what my friends who go to a lot of AA and Al-Anon meetings tell me is true for them becomes true for the rest of us:

"But for the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal." [Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66]

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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1 comment:

mary g(sis) said...

Hey Bro, Does Kosovo have property rights? Without property rights true economic freedom cannot be reached. Was Kosovo part of the Holodomor? I am not very familiar with the geography of that region - but i'm attempting to learn. As for resentment in the USA, i hear more anxiety and frustration about the trillions spent for bogus jobs initiatives. We are all waiting for the other shoe to fall, and inflation to further degrade this economy.

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