February 16

For it is not food, but gluttony, that is bad; not money, but attachment to it; not speech, but idle talk; not the world’s delights, but dissipation; not love of one’s family, but the neglect of God that such love may produce; not the clothes worn only for covering and protection from cold and heat, but those that are excessive and costly; not the houses that also protect us from heat and cold, as well as from anything human or animal that might harm us, but houses with two or three floors, large and expensive; not owning something, but owning it when it has no vital use for us; not the possession of books on the part of those who have embraced total poverty, but the possession of books for some purpose other than spiritual reading; not friendship, but the having of friends who are of no benefit to one’s soul; not women, but unchastity; not wealth, but avarice; not wine, but drunkenness; not anger used in accordance with nature for the chastisement of sin, but its use against one’s fellow men.

~St Peter of Damaskos

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