Diogenes suggests a change in lifestyle to 'weed out the non-hackers'.
It’s true that a diocesan seminarian isn’t signing up to become a Carthusian, but if he found a life closer to that of a monk than of a playboy, perhaps he’d have a chance to harden into a man of service. And if Spartan conditions were the norm for priests (and dare I add bishops?) perhaps we’d get the sort of men we need to be priests. If seminaries and rectories lacked TV, alcohol, soft furniture, and air conditioning, the kind of man who seeks pleasure in material things would self-select rather than have to self-report.
It comes down to this: you can’t provide someone with virtue, but you can provide him with the material pre-conditions for virtue.
It’s a lot easier to say, “this man has shown he can live a tough life,” than to say, “this man will be able to live a tough life.”
Do we have any readers out there in the clergy? I never realized you guys were living such opulent lives. I admit, I envied Father John's pretty cool sedan back in the day, but aside from that, the priests I've known were really not rolling in the dough.
But then I tend to forget that there are places like St. Louis, New York and Los Angeles and then there is the real world where the majority of us 1 billion Catholics live our lives.