Father Stefan reflects on ‘Joy the Gospel’ by Pope Francis “No to new Idolatry of Money”

Pope Francis writes, “One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our society. The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.” We read in the catechism, “Love for the poor is incompatible with immoderate love of riches or their selfish use.” (2445)

We read in James, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and you will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid of treasure for the last day. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Host. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts om a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have killed the righteous man; he does not resits you.” 

The catechism says, “The tenth commandment forbids greed and the desire to amass earthly goods without limit. If forbids avarice arising from a passion for riches and their attendant power. It also forbids the desire to commit injustice by harming our neighbor in his temporal goods.” (2536) The Roman Catechism says, “When the law says, ‘You shall not covet,’ these words mean that we should banish our desires for whatever does not belong to us. Our thirst for another’s goods is immense, infinite, never quenched. Thus is it written: ‘He who loves money never has money enough.” 

The catechism says, “Envy is a capital sin. It refers to the sadness at the sight of another’s good and the immoderate desire to acquire them for oneself even unjustly. When it wishes gave harm to a neighbor it is a mortal sin. St Augustine saw envy as ‘the diabolical sin’ From envy are born hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbor, and displeasure caused by prosperity.”(2539) 

“Envy represents a form of sadness and therefore a refusal of charity; the baptized person should struggle against it by exercising good will. Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train himself to live in humility.”(2540) 

There is a stream in the Church’s Tradition that saw, ‘Envy’ as the greatest sin. We are told in scripture that the devil sinned through envy of the human race. What makes envy such a great sin is that we rejoice in the misfortunes of another. 

What is the cure for envy? The cure is kindness. Showing genuine kindness to those you have envy towards in our hearts. 

A Prayer by Father Stefan

Father in Heaven, thank you for all the blessing in my life. Where I lack gratitude please forgive me. I ask you Father to send the Holy Spirit into my heart to cleanse my heart of any envy that is there. Help me Holy Spirit to show my Love for The Father and Jesus by showing genuine kindness towards anyone who I might have envy towards in my heart. Help me to rejoice when they rejoice. Thank you Jesus for helping to teach me the true value of Kindness and Love. 

 

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