Which ladder have you chosen?
“Do not lay up for yourself, treasures on earth…But lay up for yourself treasures in Heaven…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:19-21)
In Father John Mack’s book, Ascending the Heights, A Layman’s Guide to the Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 16 discusses the spiritual illness of Avarice. Avarice is the insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth. This is man’s desire to have more and to gain more – at any expense. This is the key spiritual illness that caused the 2008/2009 financial crisis which we are still impacted by today. The more complicated our lives become and the more we own, the more we have to worry about their care and preservation. With each step up the financial ladder, we make new purchases, incur new debt and have less to share with those who are in need. Are you living for Heaven or for all that is here on this Earth? Do you believe in God or do you believe in your financial planner? Having all the things that you feel are necessary is not wrong but their pursuit is distorting from the one thing which alone is needful – our Salvation!
The recommended cure for this illness is poverty or simplicity of life. The more we focus on the Heavenly, and less on the Earthly, the closer we become to God and we experience a balance as Stewards with what God has given us. In summary, one parishioner said it best; “I must reduce my debt, live a simplistic life and focus on Charity as it is my responsibility to give as I am so thankful for what God has given to me.”