We are rich to the extent that we can do without


Greg Cusack’s article in The Catholic Messenger (9-23-21) on sustainability and sufficiency brought wonderful memories of my life growing up at the cabin with no electricity or running water and the joys of struggling to build our house and living in it as we finished it over our head.

“My house” is the Ashton House, 820 Park Road, Iowa City, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

We are indeed rich in proportion to what we can do without. Being joyful in the life in which God has placed us helps to minimize the devil’s sin of coveting what does not belong to us.

To enjoy a simple hot dog cooked over a campfire beside a lake or small babbling brook, with the moon rising — or watching God’s beautiful sunset as it settles down behind the hills — perhaps the lonely sound of the loon echoing through the mist.


The time to “be quiet” — to listen to the wonders of God’s world. To give thanks for whatever station in life he has blessed us. To take time to pray that we have/are carrying our cross always to honor him, grateful for the struggles in life that give us strength and purpose and draw us closer and closer to him.

Ruth Johnson

Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on