Tantum Quantum

There is something intrinsically immoral when eight, just eight, persons own more assets and resources than the lower fifty percent of the world’s population. there is something inherently unjust in a situation that would allow just ten percent of people to possess as much as the ninety percent. There is something debasing and corrupting about owning more than what one really needs to live and be happy. Once, we are trapped in or enslaved by possessions, it is very difficult to break away from them. Indeed, in today’s Gospel, Christ warns us: “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!”

Ignatius of Loyola found an effective way of breaking away from the shackles of riches and possessions. He chose to be indifferent and detached from them. He looked at resources and possessions merely as a means to attaining his higher and loftier goals.
Tantum quantum. He used them only in as much as they helped him achieved his goals – that of doing Gods will for him.

Christ’s admonition to the rich young man was also an example of tantum quantum: “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

At that statement, the face of the rich young man fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. We also walk away from Christ when we refuse to help those in need because it would mean giving some of our riches away. We also walk away when we deny others our time because it would mean less time to be enjoying our possessions. We also walk away when we keep more than we need because whatever we keep that we don’t need we deny these of those who truly are in need.

 

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