Saint Paul tells us the love of money is the root of all evils, that it leads to many harmful desires and then to ruin and destruction.

Saint Ignatius, in his Meditation on the Two Standards, says Satan’s strategy is usually to tempt us first to desire riches and after that empty honors, which lead us eventually to pride and so to all the vices.  By riches Ignatius means not just money, but possessing in ourselves the wherewithal to do whatever we need or want to do.

But we are essentially poor, utterly dependent on God for our lives, our minds and hearts and wills, our talents, our daily bread, our very selves. Which way of life are we choosing: endless desire for things that do not really enrich us or poverty of spirit that recognizes everything we have as a gift, and as so a reason for constant gratitude?

—Fr. Peter Fennessy, S.J. is a retreat director and spiritual counselor at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, Bloomfield Hills, MI.