Tag Archives: Greed/Avarice

Orthodox Church Quotes about greed and avarice

St. Maximos the Confessor: There are three things which produce love of material wealth . . .

Icon of St. Maximos the Confessor“It is not so much because of need that gold has become an object of desire among men, as because of the power it gives most people to indulge in sensual pleasure. There are three things which produce love of material wealth: self-indulgence, self-esteem and lack of faith.  Lack of faith is more dangerous than the other two.

The self-indulgent person loves wealth because it enables him to live comfortably; the person full of self-esteem loves it because through it he can gain the esteem of others; the person who lacks faith loves it because, fearful of starvation, old age, disease, or exile, he can save it and hoard it.  He puts his trust in wealth rather than in God, the Creator who provides for all creation, down to the least of living things.

There are four kinds of men who hoard wealth: the three already mentioned and the treasurer or bursar.  Clearly, it is only the last who conserves it for a good purpose–namely, so as always to have the means of supplying each person’s basic needs.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Texts on Love 3.16-19, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 2)

St. John Chrysostom: I am often reproached for continually attacking the rich. . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“I am often reproached for continually attacking the rich. Yes, because the rich are continually attacking the poor. But those I attack are not the rich as such, only those who misuse their wealth. I point out constantly that those I accuse are not the rich but the rapacious. Wealth is one thing, covetousness another. Learn to distinguish.”

—  St. John Chrysostom, Homily on the Fall of Eutropius

St. John Chrysostom: Happiness can only be achieved by . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.”

+ St. John Chrysostom

Prayer to the Holy Guardian Angel

Icon of Guardian Angel“Holy Angel of Christ, I fall down and pray to thee, my holy Guardian, given me from holy Baptism for the protection of my sinful body and soul. By my laziness and bad habits, I have angered thy most pure light, and have driven thee away from me by all my shameful deeds, lies, slanders, envy, condemnation, scorn, disobedience, brotherly-hatred, grudges, love of money, adultery, anger, meanness, greed, excess, talkativeness, negative and evil thoughts, proud ways, dissolute madness, having self-will in all the desires of the flesh.

O my evil will, which even the dumb animals do not follow! How canst thou look at me or approach me who am like a stinking dog? With what eyes, O Angel of Christ, wilt thou look at me so badly snared in evil deeds? How can I ask forgiveness for my bitter, evil and wicked deeds, into which I fall every day and night, and every hour? But I fall down and pray, O my holy Guardian: pity me, thy sinful and unworthy servant (Name). Be my helper and protector against my wicked enemy, by thy holy prayers, and make me a partaker of the Kingdom of God with all the Saints, always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.”Book Jordanville Prayer Book

— From the Jordanville Prayerbook

St. Nilus: Why do demons wish to excite us . . .

Icon of St. Nilus“Why do demons wish to excite in us gluttony, fornication, greed, anger, rancor and other passions? So that the mind, under their weight, should be unable to pray as it ought; for when the passions of our irrational part begin to act, they prevent the mind from acting rationally.”

— St. Nilus of Sinai

St. Jerome: May your actions never be unworthy of your words . . .

Icon of St. Jerome “May your actions never be unworthy of your words, may it not happen that, when you preach in church, someone might say to himself: ‘Why does he therefore not act like this?’. How could a teacher, on a full stomach, discuss fasting; even a thief can blame avarice; but in the priest of Christ the mind and words must harmonize.”

+ St. Jerome

St. Maximos the Confessor: Nothing created by God is evil. . . .

St. Maximos the Confessor 3“Nothing created by God is evil. It is not food that is evil but gluttony, not the begetting of children but unchastity, not material things but avarice, not esteem but self-esteem. It is only the misuse of things that is evil, not the things themselves.”

–St. Maximos the Confessor