Our culture is a consumer culture. The pressure from friends, parents and family to have more, get more and want more takes its toll. We soon become a slave to financial gain, material acquisitions, and the status they bring. We become what the marketplace says we are: consumers.
The word consume means to ‘use up, lay waste, destroy’ and the disease called consumption (tuberculosis after 1650) did just that to the body of those who were afflicted.
However, it is not the marketplace that created us, but God. God did not make us to be primarily ‘consumers.’ We are made in God’s image—not a mirror image certainly—but there is something inherent in every human being that is also inherent in the character of God. Some theologians say we are like God because we have the ability to create. We are not ultimately consumers but co-creators with God.
When we understand that we are passionate co-creators, our addiction to consuming is transformed into a passion for creating—for living within our means and with deep meaning.
Today we remember Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), d. 1221. This message was adapted from “Faith reflections: Paper or plastic?” written by Sheri Delvin that first appeared in the October 2005 issue of Café magazine.