January 20

It is disbelief in God’s providence that makes it difficult for us to eradicate the passions that arise from our love of possessions, for such disbelief leads us to put our trust in material riches. “It is easier”, said the Lord, “for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). But if we trust in material riches, this means nothing to us; we long for worldly, perishable wealth, not for a kingdom that is heavenly and eternal.

And even when we fail to acquire that wealth, the mere desire for it is extremely pernicious….Yet when wealth comes, it proves itself to be nothing, since its possessors, unless they are brought to their senses by experience, still thirst after it as though they lacked it. This love that is no love does not come from need; rather the need arises from the love. The love itself arises from folly, the same folly that led Christ, the Master of all, justly to describe as foolish the man who pulled down his barns and built greater ones (cf. Luke 12:18-20).

~St Gregory Palamas (Philokalia vol.4, p.305)

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