"Stuff," an Open Conversation About Our Relationship with Material Goods.

During Lent, the documentary and project "Stuff" was launched through www.opusdei.org, a conversation with seven families from different countries and backgrounds, but who share the same concern: that their children create healthy relationships with material goods and know how to use them responsibly.

Based on what they learned in childhood and their dreams for the future, the fathers and mothers of these seven families reflect on a sustainable lifestyle that promotes the common good and seeks to inspire in their children. They want to pass on to them a Christian lifestyle so that they know how to enjoy what they have and that, even in situations of need or in times of economic suffocation, they can maintain hope.

The project and the interviews arose before the arrival of COVID-19 in our lives. The global situation resulting from the pandemic - including its economic consequences - as well as the publication of the encyclical Fratelli tutti and the convocation of the Year of the Family, presented a special opportunity to respond to the Pope's call to be "builders of a new social bond", aware that "the existence of each of us is linked to that of others: life is not time that passes, but time of encounter" (Fratelli tutti, n. 66).

Throughout Lent, numerous institutions (cultural centers, youth clubs, family associations, parishes, schools, etc.) organized meetings to deepen this invitation.

The main support was a documentary in two versions (one of fifteen minutes and another of more than half an hour) with the same title (Stuff), by the producer María del Rincón. It can be downloaded from the link https://opusdei.org/es/article...;

Both versions contain testimonies telling where they come from and how their parents taught them to relate to things explicitly or implicitly, by word or example, and then how they teach their children to relate to them.

Several of the interviewees explain that living in a world of hyper-abundance does not always mean that our needs, real or imagined, will be satisfied. In this sense, the documentary points out that it is key to talk in the family about these issues, to reflect on what we want and why we want to transmit to our children an education consistent with a Christian vision of material goods, issues that are present in the daily lives of many families.

The documentary ends with an affirmation of St. Josemaría that, in a way, inspires the whole content: “What you need to have a happy life is not an easy life but a heart in love.”

A downloadable guide with conversation questions and a flyer to share with friends was also available from the same website.

Romana, n. 72, January-June 2021, p. 99-100.

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