LIKENESS OF VIRTUE AND THE LIKENESS OF THE DEVIL
Let not the devil find his
likeness in you; let him not find fury or rage nor any wickedness. Let
him not find desire for gold nor money, nor the appearance of any vice lest
he take away from you the voice of liberty.
Only he is free who can say,
"The prince of darkness shall come and shall find no part in me, no
likeness in me. Only he is blessed who has wisdom, faith and contempt
of the world."
It is vanity to heap up riches
or even to speak of riches; when you gather up riches, you do not even know
if you can possess them. It is vanity, too, for one to work day and
night to heap up treasures. It is vanity to gather merchandize and
worry how to price it for fear of losing profit; that he should strive
everywhere for high prices and invite thieves to steal from him, and making
his heirs and successors envy their share of inheritance.
O, Christian soul, why dost
thou spin a web which is worthless and fruitless. An overflow of
wealth denudes you of the likeness of God and puts on thee the likeness of
the tyrant demon, making you go about judging and condemning others.
You put aside the likeness of the eternal King and put on the image of death
when you are vain.
St. Ambrose: Duties
of the Clergy, Chapter 49, Bk I