As for avarice, that must be change into almsgiving. Verily I say unto you, that even as the plummet hath for its end the centre, so the avaricious hath hell for his end, for it is impossible for the avaricious to possess any good in paradise. Know ye wherefore for I will tell you. As God liveth, in whose presence my soul standeth, the avaricious, even though he be silent with his tongue, by his works saith: “There is no other God than I.” Inasmuch as all that he hath he is fain to spend at his own pleasure, not regarding his beginning or his end, that he is born naked, and dying leaveth all.
`Now tell me; if Herod should give you a garden to keep, and ye were fain to bear yourselves as owners, not sending any fruit to Herod, and when Herod sent for fruit ye drove away his messengers, tell me, would ye be making yourselves kings over that garden? Assuredly yea. Now I tell you that even so the avaricious man maketh himself god over his riches which God hath given him.
`Avarice is a thirst of the sense, which having lost God through sin because it [liveth by pleasure, and being unable to delight itself in God, who is hidden from it, surroundeth itself with temporal things which it holdeth as its good; and it groweth the stronger the more it seeth itself deprived of God.
`And so the conversion of the sinner is from God, who giveth the grace to repent. As said our father David: “This change cometh from the right hand of God.”
`It is necessary that I should tell you of what sort man is, if ye would know how penitence ought to be done. And so to-day let us render thanks to God, who hath given us the grace to communicate His will by my word.’
Whereupon he lifted up his hands and prayed, saying: ‘Lord God almighty and merciful, who in mercy hath created us, giving us the rank of men, thy servants, with the faith of thy trud messenger, we thank thee for all thy benefits and would fain adore thee only all the days of our life, bewailing our sins, praying and giving alms, fasting and studying thy word, instructing those that are ignorant of thy will, suffering from the world for love of thee, and giving up our life unto the death to serve thee. Do thou, O Lord, save us from Satan, from the flesh and from the world, even as thou savedst thine elect for love of thine own self and for love of thy messenger for whom thou didst create us, and for love of all thy holy ones and prophets.’
The disciples ever answered: ‘So be it,’ `So be it, Lord,’ `So be it, O our merciful God.’
Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC