My dear Terry has a somewhat tongue-in- cheek exposé on strollers as status symbols. His timing is perfect because I spent 90 minutes traversing "The Hill", a tony section of Philadelphia where old money meets nouveau riche and a lot of pretentiousness in between. The reason for the visit was to pick up the prom gown that had undergone alterations in the hands of a very capable seamstress. She was entrusted with many wedding gowns in the family and is well worth the trip. She was running a bit behind and asked us very kindly if we could return later. It was a beautiful day so we really didn't mind.
Watching The Beautiful People is a sometimes fascinating, sometimes nauseating exercise. I do not begrudge people who are wealthy one bit. I think what probably leaves me unsettled is that I don't see how one can flaunt their wealth and serve The Lord all at the sane time. I am fairly certain that most Catholics I see eye- to-eye with are inclined to a more penitential life-style. Life centers on the Eucharist. Vacations, if taken, occur at religious destinations. Clothing is modest and never ostentatious. Children are never deprived but not over-indulged either. Heaven is our homeland, earth is our exile and all of our pursuits are fueled by the innate desire to go home one day. We have no desire to keep up with Joneses, unless the Joneses are modeled on the Martin Family, which gave five faithful daughters to The Lord.
When I see people who are incredibly fit, perfectly coifed and transported in vehicles that cost more than my house, I struggle to see Christ. I am tempted to think such a person's world revolves around them. My theory is confirmed in how they walk, drive and relate to others. If you hold a door open for them, their arm never reaches out to take it from you. They saunter through the door as if they are entitled to having it held open for them and the word thank you never crosses their mind. I assume lowly a position as I can and pretend I'm a nun in the convent of Sister Luke, taught to walk close to walls like a servant to all. I pity people who behave this way.
If people want to amass possessions they don't need, who am I to judge? But I certainly don't think it's a Christ-like way to live. The three evils are the devil, the flesh and the world. I'm going to continue to steer clear of all three and look forward to the day when there is an hour's wait in the confessional line and nobody waiting to be seated at the "hottest" restaurant in town. Because people finally managed to get their priorities straight.