Church Fathers, Day 233: Commodianus reminds us that ill-gotten gains make wicked gifts

Church Fathers, Day 233: Commodianus reminds us that ill-gotten gains make wicked gifts March 11, 2015

Ill-gotten gains make wicked gifts

Can you buy repentance with the fruits of your sin? No, says Commodianus: God rejects gifts that come from the proceeds of your sin and injustice.

Why do you senselessly pretend to be good by the wound of another? Because of what you give, another is weeping every day. Do you think the Lord does not see these things from heaven?

One gives gifts so that he may impoverish another. Or if you have lent on usury at 24%, you want to give to charity to purge yourself of that evil with what is itself evil.

The Almighty completely rejects works like these.

You have given what you have squeezed out of another’s tears. The bor­rower, pressed down with his debts and grown poor, mourns his loss. You have created an opportunity for the enemy. Now your enemy is the people. Once holy, you have become wicked for a price. Then you want to atone for yourself out of your lucre! Wicked one, you are fooling yourself, but no one else.

Commodianus, Instructions, 65


In work and business, do I always deal honestly and justly?

Is there anything I need to put right before my offerings will be acceptable to God?


Lord, as you accepted the widow’s two coins, accept my offerings, and let me exchange these temporal things for the things that belong to eternity, the things of earth for the things of heaven.

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