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257

Chapter XXX.

The remedies against the disease of covetousness.

Keeping then in mind the judgment of Ananias and Sapphira let us dread keeping back any of those things which we gave up and vowed utterly to forsake. Let us also fear the example of Gehazi, who for the sin of covetousness was chastised with the punishment of perpetual leprosy. From this let us beware of acquiring that wealth which we never formerly possessed. Moreover also dreading both the fault and the death of Judas, let us with all the power that we have avoid taking back any of that wealth which once we cast away from us. Above all, considering the state of our weak and shifty nature, let us beware lest the day of the Lord come upon us as a thief in the night,909909    1 Thess. v. 4. and find our conscience defiled even by a single penny; for this would make void all the fruits of our renunciation of the world, and cause that which was said to the rich man in the gospel to be directed towards us also by the voice of the Lord: “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be which thou hast prepared?”910910    S. Luke xii. 20. And taking no thought for the morrow, let us never allow ourselves to be enticed away from the rule of the Cœnobium.


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