all covetousness, for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Luke12:15).We meet with covetous persons among both rich and poor. Often among the rich there ismoney without avarice, and among the poor, avarice without money.2.From covetousness arise hard-heartedness towards the poor, lying, cheating, usury,defrauding laborers of wages, and other sins."Those who seek to become rich fall into temptation and a snare . . . For covetousness is theroot of all evils" (1 Tim. 6:9-10). It
, for the avaricious are so absorbed inmoney-getting that they have no time for their spiritual welfare.
To provide for one's future and that of one's family is praiseworthy. To
avoid waste and extravagance
is a virtue.To accumulate even considerable wealth, by proper means, is not wrong. The rich, however,must remember their obligation to use their wealth for the glory of God, not for their own pride.
, which disposes us rightly to use worldly goods, is opposed to covetousness. (SeeChapter 44, on Humility, Liberality, Chastity)The avaricious man is very
. He works hard all his life and becomes hated by men: heearns besides eternal damnation after death and all
. When he dies all he has are afew feet of earth for his grave; his money is left to heirs who most probably ridicule hismiserliness or waste the money to gain which he lost his soul. "For when he shall die, heshall take nothing away; nor shall his glory descend with him" (Ps. 48:18).
What is lust?
--Lust is the inordinate seeking of the pleasures of the flesh.
Lust defiles a man as no other sin does. It degrades man to the level of
. Pride is thesin commited by Lucifer, avarice by Judas, and lust by the brute.Of all vices, lust is most severely
punished on earth
. It leads to loss of health and reason. Itwas the cause of the Deluge. It was the cause for the destruction with fire and brimstone of Sodom and Gomorrha. "But immorality and every uncleanness or covetousness, let it noteven be named among you, as becomes saints" (Ephes. 5:3).
Those tempted to lust should remember that man was made to the image and
likeness of God
. Will they so rashly destroy that image, to make themselves like to beasts? In fact, beasts are better than lustful men, for beasts act in that manner from instinct; they have nosoul like God.Impurity weakens the will and darkens the understanding. For this reason amendment is verydifficult, and the sinner falls into many other sins. So Solomon, who yielded to lust, finallylost all his wisdom and turned to worship false gods.