Spiritual Words of St. Peter of Damaskos

"What is the point of amassing riches? Despite his unwillingness, the seeming possessor will have to surrender them, not just at the moment of his death, but often before this, with much shame, tribulation and pain. Wealth breeds innumerable trials - fear, anxiety, constant worry and troubles sought and unsought - and yet many have endured even death for its sake. But God's holy commandment saves every man from all this and gives him complete freedom from anxiety and fear; often, indeed, it confers inexpressible delight on those who deliberately choose to rid themselves of possessions. For what brings more delight than to achieve dispassion, and no longer to be under the sway of anger or the desire for worldly things? Regarding as nothing the things that most people value and rising above them, we live as in paradise, or rather as in heaven, set free from all constraints through our untroubled devotion to God."

St. Peter of Damaskos.

Comments

Deacon Charles said…
I read these thoughts and cannot disagree but at the same time I feel a disconnect with the situation we all face in our daily lives. Clearly we must amass riches to live in this modern non-agrarian world Clearly we must have some attachment to things necessary for our survival and live on earth. But still we need to be dispassionate. Is the only way the way of the monk? How do we reach this state without going off into the wilderness/ Or is it not possible?
So was this Holy Father wrong? It would be easy just to put it off to a different time, but that would set aside our call from God to make a difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors. If we read Acts, what do we hear happen to those who had n attachment to things. We must be willing and prepared to give away everything we have. This is not just for monastics, but everyone.
The questions is how do we live up to what this saint tells us? Perhaps if we lived closer to what he suggests, the present economic conditions around the world wold be much different.

When I have talked about this at other times, I am almost always told that means I would have to give away everything I had. Noone seems to like it when I answer yes that is exactly what we are called to do. Their follow up questions is usually,noone has ever done that. Yes they have, and I give them examples of real people who are willing to give up everything to risk loosing everything and just pray to God and have faith that God will provide what them need.

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