Welcome to the Happy Are You Poor blog and podcast! We will be discussing a wide range of topics related to living a radically Christian life in the modern world, with an emphasis on voluntary poverty and informal but intentional community building. For full transcripts, related blog posts, and discussion, visit our website, happyareyoupoor.com
We welcome comments from readers and listeners, and will do our best to respond to all comments. We also welcome guest blog posts on related topics, and are looking for podcast guests, in particular those who are involved in building local community. For a more detailed explanation of our principles and purpose, see the “Principles of Community” page on our website.
Our name comes from the book Happy Are You Poor by Fr. Dubay; for more on this book, see the summary on our site.
Podcast 7: Casa Karibu Sze-Ming
An interview with Aaron Pott from Denver’s “House of Welcome and Mission.” Malcolm Schluenderfritz and Peter Land interview Aaron Pott, who lives in a small Denver-area Christian intentional community, Casa Karibu Sze-Ming. Aaron talks about the origin, history, mission, spirituality, and structure of his community; the “home liturgies” that help glue the community together; the ups and downs of community life; raising children in a community setting; sharing burdens with others; the financial benefits of community; ecumenism; the other communities he has experienced; the balance between consensus and leadership; the dangers of idealism and overly-high expectations; not expecting a community to meet all of one’s needs; staying connected to a wider community; and the importance of hospitality. Peter Land is able to talk about his experience staying at Casa Karibu as a pilgrim traveling through Denver. (Image shows some of the CKS members in 2019. Courtesy of Aaron Pott)
Podcast 6: Consoling the Heart of Jesus
A Spirituality of Trust In podcast 6, Peter Land and Malcolm Schluenderfritz discuss the Fr. Gaitley’s book Consoling the Heart of Jesus and the spirituality that underlies it: the great love that Jesus has for each of us, despite our sins and failings, and the great importance of absolute trust in his mercy. We also discuss The Little Way of St. Therese of Lisieux and Pope Francis’ call to go to the peripheries. Other topics mentioned include: scrupulosity; an outward focus; pride; “performance orientation;” Pelagianism; the Good Thief; St. Paul; attachments and addictions; the danger of self-sufficiency; the danger of agendas; the Prodigal Son; C. S. Lewis; detachment; A.A.; St. Faustina; St. Margaret Mary; Eucharistic Adoration; Pharisees; Jansenism; and St. Benedict Joseph Labre. (All transcripts edited for clarity and readability.)
Podcast 5: A Debate on Socialism
Malcolm Schluenderfritz and Philip debate socialism. In our last episode, number 4, we discussed the moral problems in our current economic order. (Listen to episode 4 first if you haven’t done so.) In this episode, we discuss whether socialism could provide an alternative. Listeners are reminded of the caveat from our last episode; economics and politics are contentious topics. If you disagree with one or both of us in this debate, please let us know! Topics covered include: Socialism; Capitalism; Distributism; third ways; the problem of words used as slogans; profit; workers; ownership of the means of producing wealth; economic classes; Benedict XVI; First Things; Democratic vs Totalitarian Socialism; “Europe and it’s Discontents”; Socialism from Above vs Socialism from Below; John Paul I; Co-ops; personal responsibility; Peter Maurin; “the determining number”; community; monasteries; love as a motivator; Tanzania; individualism; governments; “the vegetable garden political party”; culture wars; non-political solutions; Aristotle; material goods; Pacem in Terris; St. John XXIII; Marx; Civil Rights; William Wilberforce; systems; prudence; solidarity; earthly power; Racism; virtues; practice; false resignation; Thomas Aquinas; multi-purpose solutions; St. Francis of Assisi; Franciscan Third Order; Alasdair MacIntyre; Trotsky; Base Ecclesial Communities; international solidarity; Pope Francis; evangelizing; and The One Thing is Three. (All transcripts edited for clarity and readability.)
Podcast 4: Is Our Economic System Anti-Christian?
Peter Land, Malcolm Schluenderfritz, and Philip discuss the problems with our current economy from the perspective of living an authentically Christian life. Topics covered include: the meaning of “economics;” the importance of economics; the “discipling” ability of our economic activity; the danger of commodification; virtualization; consumerism; the connection between politics and economics; human solidarity; the novel and contingent nature of our current system; what “capital” is; what the “means of production” are; wage-slavery; the relationship culture and politics; the disconnect between a competitive economy and the Mystical Body; remote co-operation with evil; exploitation; sweatshop labor; and the importance of limits. All transcripts are edited for clarity and readability.
Podcast 3: Voluntary Poverty
Peter Land and Malcolm Schluenderfritz are joined by Jason Wilde, a lay missionary with the Catholic Family Missions Company. They discuss voluntary Gospel poverty, and in particular the role of voluntary poverty in our relationships with God and neighbor. Topics covered include: the nature of voluntary poverty; the difference between poverty and destitution; the individual, personal nature of a call to embrace a simpler lifestyle; Fr. Dubay’s Happy are You Poor; the need for individual discernment in responding to this call; the experience of the podcast participants with poverty; the many different types of poverty in the world today; Fratelli Tutti; finding pleasure in the simple things; finding happiness in Divine and human relationships; the importance of serving the poor; the importance of solidarity with the poor; Christ’s “solidarity” with humanity; the Mystical Body; the recurrent danger in the life of the Church of rejecting either the Humanity or the Divinity of Christ; the lack of security, both physical and spiritual, in today’s world; the difference between individual security and communal security from the perspective of the Gospel; and the relative affluence of most Americans when measured against other times and places. (All transcripts edited for clarity and readability.)
Podcast 2: Organic Development of Community
Peter Land and Malcolm Schluenderfritz discuss community development. Topics include: the purpose of this website, the importance of organic development, the tension between intentionality and organic development, the primacy of friendship, core groups, the role of time and spacial relationships in building community spirit, community as an internal attitude or virtue that needs to be develop, an integrated life, the preferential option for the poor, poverty and community spirit, prepping, security in community, individualism, isolation, and the unexamined life.