Materialism is primarily an orientation of the mind, a particular spirit, a way of understanding reality and of comprehending the world. It is a feature which is understandable and yet at the same time quite troubling. It is an ideology, a way of seeing things, that has pervaded western culture.
What leads to permanent and lasting happiness? As Jesus points out, becoming “rich in what matters to God” is the key. When we place God first, and love our neighbor as another self, we soon begin to experience a perceptible, lasting happiness that is not of this world. It is “other-worldly” because it does not originate from our interior, from creatures or material possessions, but from God himself, whose bountiful love fills us with true and lasting peace, joy and happiness.