Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Twenty-Two: St. Ambrose wants us to be satisfied with enough

Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Twenty-Two: St. Ambrose wants us to be satisfied with enough November 20, 2014

saint_ambrose_3Be satisfied with enough

It’s easy to have more than enough to get by, says St. Ambrose. But lust and greed always want more. Control them, and you’ll find that you live in abundance.

If you want to be rich, you must be poor. Then you will be rich in every­thing, if you are poor in spirit. It isn’t property that makes you rich, but the spirit.

There are those who humble themselves in the midst of abundant riches, and they act rightly and prudently. For the law of nature is rich enough for every­one, and according to that law you can soon find more than enough for yourself. But for lust, abundance of riches is still poverty.

So poverty is not in nature, but in our own feelings. It’s easy for nature to find itself rich, but hard for lust. The more a man gains, the more he wants to gain, and he burns with a kind of drunkenness from his lusts.

St. Ambrose, Letter 63, 90


Have I given my own fate completely into God’s hands?

Do I put too much emphasis on gaining more—whether it’s possessions or influ­ence or any other worldly thing?


Father, you provide for all your creation. Let the living bread I receive from heaven give me strength to work for what I need and to give my help to my sisters and brothers who are still hungry.

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