Monday, September 29, 2008

One Vast Dishonorable Muddle

In light of the recent disaster in the stock market, I am reminded of Peter Maurin's oft-quoted phrase to the effect of "do not make money with money." Rather he would often remind people who would turn to him for counsel:
"Earn a living by the sweat of your own brow, not someone else's. Choose a work that can be considered honorable, and can be classed under the heading of a Work of Mercy, serving your brothers, not exploiting them. Mans work is as important to him as bread, and by it he gains his bread. And by it he gains too, because he serves his brother."
Maurin, as also Dorothy Day, was an avid reader of Chesterton, who wrote concerning usury and investments in stocks:
"As modern investments are made, almost anybody may have his money in some sense in an armament firm, or a business financing and assassination firm, for all the individual investor knows about it. Now this sort of anonymity and obviously nothing more than one vast dishonourable muddle."
What a great description for what we find ourselves in now.

Nathan O'Halloran, SJ

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