Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 37

76.  The presence of the passion of avarice reveals itself when a person enjoys receiving but resents having to give. Such a person is not fit to fulfill the office of treasurer or bursar.

I was struck by the turn this text took. St. Maximos describes the sign of one rule by the passion of avarice, but having noted it turns to a practical matter. Once you recognize such a person, don’t put that person in charge of the money. But it’s not merely practical. St. Maximos is also telling us to protect those in the grip of a passion out of love for them. Don’t place them in a position which you know will contribute to their self-destruction. That’s a perspective we could apply in many areas of life.

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