THE CONTEMPT FOR RICHES
The more one develops the
virtues necessary for holiness, the more he develops contempt for
Virtues are interrelated;
prudence always has the element of justice. This is what makes
prudence consistent, not fearful of death, not held back by alarm nor
is it turned aside by flattery, nor does it shun exile. She fears not
want for she knows that nothing is wanting to the wise man. What is
greater than the man that knows not how to be excited at the thought
of money and has a contempt for riches.
Such a man is more than a
man; surely he ought to be admired who despises riches, seeing that
most place riches even before their own safety.
The contempt of riches
must adorn him who stands highest in honour; so that no love for his
treasures may seize upon such a man, and that he who rules over free
men may never become a slave to money. In soul, he should be superior
to treasures and, in willing service, be subject to his friends.
It is praiseworthy for him
who is to be priest to have no desire for filthy lucre nor to place
his hope of good in money or to count up his daily gains and to
calculate his savings like a hireling.
St. Ambrose, Duties of
the Clergy, Ch. XIV