Is wealth the ticket to happiness and ultimate security in life?
On this episode of The Catholic Gentleman, John Heinen, Sam Guzman, and Devin Schadt reveal the stark truth about wealth's place in faith, financial fixation, and the crippling fear that often accompanies it.
In the episode, they expose the subtle yet pervasive influence of marketing, explaining how corporations and celebrities cunningly craft our cravings for comfort and status.
"Don't underestimate the power of celebrities and the images that they project. They are the kind of little gods in our society," Guzman says, shedding light on these false idols that lead many astray today.
But what's the harm in longing for a comfortable life?
The gentlemen argue that the desire for wealth becomes an idol that demands our worship and offers a false sense of security.
"The more we lean toward wanting money and more, the less we will be, because we will appeal to a power that we think is going to give us worldly power. Meanwhile, we're giving up the pursuit of real power, which is a virtue," Schadt cautions.
Yet, it's not just about the flashy allure of material goods. To help us navigate the internal turmoil that often happens when we tie our self-worth to our net worth, the gentlemen challenge the cultural conflation of masculinity with monetary might.
“We can dress all day long with our mustaches and with our beard wax... but it's right here if we cannot conquer our pocketbooks and our pockets and if we cannot overcome fear, we are not real men,” says Devin.
They say the relentless pursuit of more contrasts with the Christian call to contentment and simplicity.
"More money we equate to just more things and more possessions and therefore, a certain degree of happiness or a certain degree of peace," Heinen says, cautioning against the illusion that financial abundance equates to spiritual abundance.
He shares wisdom from Saint Thomas Aquinas, reminding us that "greed is the root of all sins because it's the immoderate desire for temporal possessions, which can be estimated in money."
As the gentlemen say, the quest for financial freedom often enslaves us to a worldly master. True freedom lies not in financial wealth but in the richness of our faith and the virtues we cultivate.