17. 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.
What do you think of St. Maximos’ prescription? We certainly live in a culture consumed with love of material wealth. Other than books, ‘stuff’ doesn’t hold much appeal to me and I’ve never seen the allure of money for money’s sake. Nevertheless, I remain a product of our culture. I am wealthy compared to most of the people alive today (as are most of us in the US) and I’m happy that’s the case. I enjoy my privileges of birth and am not inclined to sacrifice them. I’m happy that my children are largely safe from starvation, disease, and war and can have much that they desire. As a culture (and I’m speaking only to the Christians within our culture), do we largely lack faith? I’m struck by the fact that so many of us have defined material wealth as a sign of God’s blessing on us. Sometimes it seems our faith is actually in our wealth.