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How to Get Rich

God of Grace, I love the place I’m in, but we are not intended not to grow. So if I need to go from here, I ask, as Brother Lawrence did, that you will put me where you want me… where I’m needed most. Amen


Dear Sister Alma Rose—Is it sinful to want to be rich? If not, how can I become wealthy? —Penniless in Potsdam

The Palace of Versailles; photo by Eric Pouhier

The Palace of Versailles; photo by Eric Pouhier

Dear Penniless—Sister Alma Rose wouldn’t say “sinful”; unenlightened, perhaps. The answer to y’all’s question depends upon why y’all want to be rich, and what kind of riches y’all are seeking. Sister Alma Rose has found that those who are the saddest are the very poor and the very rich… the poor, because they struggle, and the rich, because wealth don’t satisfy them the way they thought it would do. Sister Alma Rose wishes she had thought to say this before Marsha Sinetar wrote a book about it: Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow. If y’all have true abundance—friends, joy in your work, a welcoming home, and peace in y’all’s heart—then outward abundance will be likewise manifest. And if it ain’t, would you care?

Sister Alma Rose’s niece Jo Ellen wrote this bit of verse that might speak to y’all:

I Won’t Mind It If I Fall

Baking Cookies with Grandma

Baking Cookies with Grandma

I want to be a powder-scented
grandma who bakes cookies and
wears aprons and is plump and
matronly… not now, but maybe
someday soon, before my grandchildren
grow up and have to pay a duty call and
wonder if I’ll know their names when
they approach me shyly, in the Home. I
truly hope I’m not incontinent. But
I’ll be rich by then, I think, and have
my own domestic staff anticipating
every wish and bringing me my food
and drink upon a tray that has a doily,
lace, not paper, and I don’t want
ketchup in the bottle, not that I’ve the
tiniest affection for that condiment, but

Today, however, I’ll be reckless and not
mind it if I fall, for I have nothing, so
I’ve not a thing to lose. And
it’s not true, not true at all, that I
have nothing, if by something is
meant “money.” There are days when dust
motes drifting in a ray of sunlight make me
giddy with delight. Perhaps I should get
out more, though I always walk the
neighborhood to see what subtle changes
have been made since yesterday. We must
have had a shower in the night; the air
smells clean, my sweet alyssum is a little
greener, and the sky is bright.

There are so many roads I wish to travel,
in the next life if I haven’t got the time in
this one. God is economical; we’re given
longings for a reason, to be satisfied in
God’s time, in their season, by God’s grace. I
can wait; I’m happy as a kitten with a junebug
in this place. 


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