Who Am I?

Four Hundred Texts on Theology (Third Century) 12

Posted: October 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: St. Maximos the Confessor | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Four Hundred Texts on Theology (Third Century) 12

34.  In each of us the energy of the spirit is made manifest according to the measure of his faith (cf. Rom. 12:6). Therefore each of us is the steward of his own grace and, if we think logically, we should never envy another person the enjoyment of his gifts, since the disposition which makes us capable of receiving divine blessings depends on ourselves.

We all receive different gifts from God. St. Maximos here notes that the grace given to us is according to our disposition. We are stewards of the gifts given to us and should focus our attention there and not on the gifts of others. I say it that way because it seems to me that attention is often the first step toward envy.

Envy is an easy trap and it’s an attitude that knows no reason. If we focus too much on what another has, we can find ourselves envious of something we never before desired. While St. Maximos is speaking in this text of envy of the grace of spiritual gifts that another has received, I can’t help but think of our modern American culture. So much in it depends on the inculcation of envy in our hearts. Our consumer economy depends on the constant growth in our desire for things we never previously wanted. And one of the primary tools in that process is envy.

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