March 11

The pathological character of love of money and greed is likewise and consequently made manifest in the relationship of man to himself. Subject to these two passions, he lacks the most basic love with regard to himself; he prefers money and material riches to his own soul. Preoccupied with keeping the goods he possesses and acquiring new ones, he neither takes care for his soul, nor does he worry about his salvation.

St John Cassian says that he neglects “the image and likeness of God…which [he] should preserve without stain in himself” by worshiping God: “Indeed, one cannot love both one’s soul and money.” Occupied with increasing and maintaining material wealth, man cannot develop his spiritual potentialities and effect the blossoming of his nature, and thus he keeps himself enclosed within the limits of the fallen world.

Even though he believes that he truly enriches himself–that he gains his freedom and guarantees himself life in gathering treasures on earth, he alienates and pins down all his being and existence to this world and “the flesh”, “for where man’s treasure is, there his heart is also”.

…Above all, it takes the place of spiritual delights which are incomparably superior and alone capable of fully satisfying man, whom pleasure in the end deprives of eternal bliss. Thus it is clearly apparent that man in many ways becomes “his own enemy”, as St John Chrysostom says, through love of money and greed.

~Dr Jean-Claude Larchet (Therapy of Spiritual Illnesses, vol.1, p.174)

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