I've started reading City of God by St Augustine. Today I read his explanation of why both the Christian and the pagan suffer in the world. The pagans suffer because they are under judgment. The baptized suffer because, being too attached to the world, they fall into sin and so are judged.
This is of course completely contrary to the prosperity gospel preached by Crefio Dollar and his ilk. It also sounds quite harsh to my modern ears. That is probably good. We focus too much on the God of Mercy and forget that He is a God of Righteousness.
In modern America I find it entirely too easy to get caught in the 'keeping up with the Joneses' trap. We all need better, shinier bling.
If nothing else, I think this summer's reading will inspire me to get rid of some stuff.
Augustine firmly holds that the world is evil. I'm not so sure that to follow my Saviour I have to loathe the world. Loathe the Prince of the Air, certainly. But the world? I think we, instead, have to prioritize.