The Ladder of Divine Ascent: Avarice and Poverty

From The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus:

“Do not say that you are interested in money for the sake of the poor, for two mites were sufficient to purchase the kingdom of heaven (cf. Luke 21:2).”

[…]

“The pretext of almsgiving is the start of avarice, and the finish is detestation of the poor. The collector is stirred by charity, but, when the money is in, the grip tightens.”

“A man who has embraced poverty offers up prayer that is pure, while a man who loves possessions prays to material images.”

[…]

“The man who has tasted the things of heaven easily thinks nothing of what is below, but he who has had no taste of heaven finds pleasure in possessions.”

[…]

“The man who thinks nothing of goods has freed himself from quarrels and disputes. But the lover of possessions will fight to the death for a needle. Sturdy faith cuts off cares, and remembrance of death denies the body. There was no trace of avarice in Job, and so he remained tranquil when he lost everything.”

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