“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 faithless.
Now, nothing is more faithless than the devil, and God says plainly by the prophet, “The gold is mine, and the silver is mine” (Haggai 2:8), and he gives it to whoever he wills. Simply use it well, and there is nothing wrong with money. But whenever you’ve made a bad use of it, you’re unwilling to blame your own management, so you impiously throw the blame back at the Creator.
A man may even be justified by money. “I was hungry and you gave me food”: that certainly was from money. “I was naked and you clothed me”: that certainly was from money.
Do you want to learn how money can become a door to the Kingdom of heaven? “Go,” Jesus says, “sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Matthew 19:21).
Now, I’ve made these remarks because of those heretics who say that our possessions, and our money, and our bodies are cursed. I don’t want you to be a slave to money, but neither do I want you to treat as your enemies the things God has given you to be used.
–St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 7, 15-16
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Is my money used for good or for evil?
Have I used the things God gives me the way he wants me to use them?
Father, you sent your Son to save all humanity. Help me show true Christian love to strangers, and to everyone who needs my help, so that one day I may live in eternal happiness with all your people.
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