I will return now to avarice: and I tell you that when the sense would fain acquire a thing or tenaciously keep it, reason must say: “Such a thing will have its end.” It is certain that if it will have an end it is madness to love it. Wherefore it behoves one to love and to keep that which will not have an end.
`Let avarice then be changed into alms, distributing rightly what [a man] hath acquired wrongly.
`And let him see to it that what the right hand shall give the left hand shall not know’. Because the hypocrites when they do alms desire to be seen and praised of the world. But verily they are vain, seeing that for whom a man worketh from him doth he receive his wages. If, then, a man would receive anything of God, it behoveth him to serve God.
`And see that when ye do alms, ye consider that ye are giving to God all that [ye give] for love of God. Wherefore be not slow to give, and give of the best of that which ye have, for love of God.
`Tell me, desire ye to receive of God anything that is bad? Certainly not, O dust and ashes! Then how have ye faith in you if ye shall give anything bad for love of God?
`It were better to give nothing than to give a bad thing; for in not giving ye shall have some excuse according to the world: but in giving a worthless thing, and keeping the best for yourselves what shall be the excuse?
`And this is all that I have to say to you concerning penitence.
Barnabas answered: `How long ought penitence to last?.
Jesus replied: `As long as a man is in a state of sin he ought always to repent and do penance for it. Wherefore as human life always sinneth, so ought it always to do penance; unless ye would make more account of your shoes than of your soul, since every time that your shoes are burst ye mend them’.
Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC