Church Fathers, Day 291: St. John Cassian says to destroy covetousness before it destroys you

Church Fathers, Day 291: St. John Cassian says to destroy covetousness before it destroys you May 8, 2015

st_john_cassian_2Destroy covetousness before it destroys you

How dangerous is covetousness? St. John Cassian answers that it was this sin that led Judas to betray the Lord.

Would you like to know how dangerously and harmfully covetousness, unless it has been carefully eradicated, will shoot up for the destruction of its owner, and put forth all sorts of branches of different sins?

Look at Judas, reckoned among the number of the Apostles, and see how, because he would not bruise the deadly head of this serpent, it destroyed him with its poison. When he was caught in the snares of greed, it drove him into sin and a headlong downfall, so that he was persuaded to sell the Redeemer of the world and the author of humanity’s salvation for thirty pieces of silver.

And he could never have been impelled to this heinous sin of the betrayal if he had not been contaminated by the sin of covetousness; nor would he have made himself wickedly guilty of betraying the Lord, unless he had first got used to robbing the bag entrusted to him.

–St. John Cassian, Institutes, 7.23


How often am I tempted to betray the Lord for a little material gain?

What form would that betrayal take? How do I avoid it?


Father, you have given us all we need to sustain our lives. Let me always use your gifts for your glory and for the good of all people.

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