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Money and Honor Go Hand-in-Hand

September 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Book Club, Sarah Reinhard

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The Way of Perfection (Week 2 of 10)

I believe that honour and money nearly always go together, and that he who desires honour never hates money, while he who hates money cares little for honour. Understand this clearly, for I think this concern about honour always implies some slight regard for endowments or money: seldom or never is a poor man honoured by the world; however worthy of honour he may be, he is apt rather to be despised by it. With true poverty there goes a different kind of honour to which nobody can take objection. I mean that, if poverty is embraced for God's sake alone, no one has to be pleased save God. It is certain that a man who has no need of anyone has many friends: in my own experience I have found this to be very true.

The Way of Perfection, Chapter 2, Paragraph 6

I say I hate money all the time, but I don't really mean I hate it, not the way St. Teresa intends me too. No, I'm far too comfortable and settled to truly hate the money that makes it possible. What I hate is the responsibility, the figuring, the stuff that goes with money. And until I read this chapter, it never occurred to me that honor went hand-in-hand with money.

It makes sense, though, doesn't it?

So, reading St. Teresa's words here, I can't help but think that it's all well and good. Nice, even. But how do I put it into practice?

I'm not in a position where I can sell my house, ditch the kids, and go to live in a convent. (And I'm pretty sure I don't want to anyway.) And where's the semantical line between being grateful for what I have and living in regard?

I'm hoping, dear reader, that you can lend me some of your insight. Or just discuss what you liked about this week's chapters. I'm going to stand on your shoulders this week and follow eagerly what you have to say!

Reading Assignment:

Chapters 7-12

Discussion Questions:

1. When have you found yourself desiring honor? How does it tie into the same desire you may have felt for money or riches?

2. What struck you from the reading this week? What of St. Teresa's writings spoke to you?

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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