Christ Our Pascha: Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church

764  Avarice is a passion for money and material goods. The Holy Fathers taught that love of wealth is not part of man’s innate nature, but appears as a distortion of man’s desire for eternal life.473 The passion for acquiring wealth, which takes possession of a person, makes one a slave to money. The acquisition of wealth becomes an end in itself and leads to various sins. Such a passion gives rise to the illusion of one’s self-sufficiency as we come to rely solely on material goods. Saint John Chrysostom teaches:

Wealth is not a bad thing, but avarice and love of money are. A covetous person is one thing, and a rich person is another thing. The covetous person is not rich; he is in want of many things, and while he needs many things, he can never be rich. The covetous man is a keeper, not a master, of wealth; a slave, not a lord.474

Saint John Climacus regards avarice and greed as idolatry, since in such blindness a person places all his hopes in earthly goods.475


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