THE CONTEMPT FOR RICHES
The more one develops the
virtues necessary for holiness, the more he develops contempt for riches.
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
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