Church Fathers, Day 227: St. Cyril of Jerusalem says use your money for good


Use your money for good “Money is the root of all evil,” we often hear. But what St. Paul really said was that “the love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Timothy 6:10). St. Cyril of Jerusalem tells us that money can be used for good or for evil: you, the Christian, should use yours for good, and you will reap the reward of your works. Riches, gold, and silver do not belong to the devil, as some think. For the whole world of riches belongs to the faithful man, but not a penny to the faith … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 226: St. John Chrysostom says be happy with enough

Be happy with enough Wealth isn’t really much fun, says St. John Chrysostom. A simple life is not only more conducive to virtue, but also just feels better. Let’s see whether wealth has any pleasure or honor—for in my eyes the case is just the opposite. First of all, if you don’t mind, let’s look into the meals of rich and poor, and ask the guests which ones enjoy the purest and most genuine pleasure. Is it the ones who recline on couches all day, and join breakfast with dinner, and bulge … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 225: St. John Chrysostom warns beware the temptations of power

Beware the temptations of power Whenever we have power over people, says St. John Chrysostom, we’re tempted to use that power for the basest ends. Better to have no wealth at all than to use our wealth for revenge. But riches, someone may say, bring honor to those who possess them, and give them the power to take vengeance on their enemies easily. Tell me, is this really a reason why riches seem desirable to you and worth striving for—that they nourish the most dangerous passion in our nat … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 224: St. Gregory the Great warns beware of prosperity—Satan lurks there

Beware of prosperity—Satan lurks there The persecutions had ceased, and Christians were safe from the government. But they weren’t safe, says St. Gregory the Great, from the wiles of Satan, who knows how to make use of prosperity and security, too. Because the stress of the earlier tempests has lulled, and with the end of the struggle a measure of tranquility has seemed to smile on us for a long time, we have to guard against those errors that arise from the reign of peace itself. Having bee … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 223: St. Jerome says remember the poor and trust God to provide

Remember the poor and trust God to provide Writing a eulogy of his good friend Paula, a noble widow who was also his student, St. Jerome recalls how she used to give abundantly whenever she saw someone in need. No mind could be more considerate than hers, or none kinder towards the lowly. She did not court the powerful; at the same time, if the proud and the vainglorious sought her, she did not turn from them with disdain. If she saw a poor man, she supported him; and if she saw a rich one, … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 222: St. Ambrose tells us don’t take advantage of misfortune

Don’t take advantage of misfortune When food is scarce, prices go up. It’s just good business, right? No, says St. Ambrose. It’s one thing to get a fair return for your work, but it’s quite another to take advantage of human misery to turn an outrageous profit. “The people curse him who holds back grain” (Proverbs 11:26). This is a plain and definite statement, leaving no room for debate. Yes, you must expect payment for your labor from the crops of the fruitful land, and must hope for a ju … [Read more...]