On Money

St. Cyril of Jerusalem ca. 313-386

Riches, and gold, and silver are not, as some think, the devil’s: for the whole world of riches is for the faithful man, but for the faithless not even a penny. Now nothing is more faithless than the devil; and God says plainly by the Prophet, The gold is Mine, and the silver is Mine, and to whomsoever I will I give it. Do thou but use it well, and there is no fault to be found with money: but whenever you have made a bad use of that which is good, then being unwilling to blame your own management, thou impiously throwest back the blame upon the Creator. A man may even be justified by money: I was hungry, and you gave Me meat Mat. 25:35-36: that certainly was from money. I was naked, and you clothed Me: that certainly was by money. And would you learn that money may become a door of the kingdom of heaven? Sell, says He, that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven.

Now I have made these remarks because of those heretics who count possessions, and money, and men’s bodies accursed. For I neither wish you to be a slave of money, nor to treat as enemies the things which God has given you for use. Never say then that riches are the devil’s: for though he say, All these will I give you, for they are delivered unto me , one may indeed even reject his assertion; for we need not believe the liar: and yet perhaps he spoke the truth, being compelled by the power of His presence: for he said not, All these will I give you, for they are mine, but, for they are delivered unto me. He grasped not the dominion of them, but confessed that he had been entrusted with them, and was for a time dispensing them. But at a proper time interpreters should inquire whether his statement is false or true. (Catechetical Lectures 8:6-7)

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