The Less We Need

New years tends to bring a lot of talk about resolutions and after Christmas is a great time to clean closets. I even talked about the filled with less movement last week in my post Drifting. One small paragraph that really stuck out to me from The Holy Angels that I felt really fit into this topic and my life right now was from the discussion of St. John Chrysostom.
“The angels themselves are supremely happy, says St. John Chrysostom, as they have no wants. ‘Therefore the less we need, the more we are on our way to them; the more we need, the more we are on our way to perishable life.'”
Yesterday Ian and I were working on our budget as we do every month and we were talking about how we need this and we need that and next month we are going to need xyz. By the time we were done I was exhausted. We have so many expenses and a really young business and trying to buy a house and wanting to deepen our faith, the “I wants” and “I needs” far exceed each paycheck. It leaves me wondering is all this really necessary?
Of course the answer is “No,” while I can justify it all. Yes we really need 3 television streaming services and a music streaming service. Yes we need to buy this or that for the house. Yes we need a extra in the budget for meals or fuel to go do something fun. But the answer still in reality is no.
What we need is faith in God? He will provide us all we need in his own time and in his own way. If our business is meant to succeed He will ensure that it does. Faith, trust, and humility acquire these things and the rest will come. Just look at St. Mary of Egypt, who wandered the desert for 40 years, no food or shelter, but by faith she was preserved and feed by small offerings of the desert.
Does this mean I’m going to cancel all of our subscriptions or not order things that will make my life easier? No. I am too of the world at this point, but does it mean I will be even more aware of our excess spending and I hope that as a family we will be able to help each other work towards needing less as St. John Chrysostom recommends.
How about you are there things in your life that you keep thinking you need, but are exhausted by them? Are you ready to let them go slowly to work toward needing less?

One thought on “The Less We Need

  1. This reminds me of how when I was younger, I thought there were single, simple answers to things. One right way to do things. One right decision to make in every situation. Sometimes, that’s true. But I think life is more complex than we are aware – always so many spiritual and earthly things happening that we only have a tiny glimpse of. We bump up against our own limits and have to figure out how to live with them and move beyond them at the same time. It’s good to keep our eye on the goal, as you do here. Thanks for the post!


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