CHARGE them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
1 Tim 6:17-19.
RICHES, and gold, and silver are not, as some think, the devil’s: for the whole world of riches is for the faithful man, but for the faithless not even a penny (Prov 17:6, LXX).
Now nothing is more faithless than the devil; and God says plainly by the Prophet, The gold is Mine, and the silver is Mine, and to whomsoever I will I give it (Haggai 2:8; Luke 4:6).
Do thou but use it well,† and there is no fault to be found with money: but whenever thou hast made a bad use of that which is good, then being unwilling to blame thine own management, thou impiously throwest back the blame upon the Creator.
A man may even be justified by money: I was hungry, and ye gave Me meat (Mt 25:35, 36): that certainly was from money.
I was naked, and ye clothed Me: that certainly was by money.
And wouldest thou learn that money may become a door of the kingdom of heaven? Sell, saith He, that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven (Mt 19:21).
Now I have made these remarks because of those heretics who count possessions, and money, and men’s bodies accursed.
For I neither wish thee to be a slave of money, nor to treat as enemies the things which God has given thee for use.
St Cyril of Jerusalem (ca. 313 – 386), Catechetical Lectures VIII §6-7 (CCEL).
† Not by handing it over to the government! See St John Chrysostom.
BLESSED is the Lord God, blessed is the Lord day by day; may the God of our salvation give us prosperity.
From the Third Hour in the Lenten Offices. Translation from Anastasis.