An economy of trust

In his chapter on the “Artisans of the Monastery” St Benedict says “Whenever products of monastery artisans are sold, those responsible for the sale must not dare to practice any fraud.” And, “The evil of avarice must have no part in establishing prices, which should, therefore, always be a little lower than people outside the monastery are able to set, so that in all things God may be glorified.”
The issue at hand is trust—who and what is keeping the monastery in oatmeal and coffee? Is it our own by turns anxious or clever jugglings of ways and means, or even by our (presently very small) industry? No.

As the familiar psalm says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?” Not from the gods of the lands—in this case common but unjust economic practices, seemingly necessary by present-world exigency. No, the psalm continues, “My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”

This is the economy of the kingdom of God, where for all our labor and industry, necessary though it may be, the only currency of value is trust. So we ourselves have even less reason to be tempted by the demons of which St Benedict speaks, and the more reason to trust in God’s care.

 

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