Possessions and the Possessed

“All possessions, not only the large ones, are dangerous, in so far as man learns to rely upon what is, by its very nature something passing and unreal.  (St John) Chrysostom is very evangelical at this point.  Treasures must be gathered in heaven, not on earth, and all earthly treasures are unreal and doomed to corruption. […]  Possessions can be justified only by their use:  feed the hungry, help the poor, and give everything to the needy. […]  Chrysostom goes so far as to denounce even the splendour of the temples.  “The Church”, he says, “is a triumphant company of angels, and not a shop of silversmith.  The Church claims human souls, and only for the sake of the souls does God accept any other gifts.  The cup which Christ offered to the disciples at the Last Supper was not made of gold.  Yet it was precious above all measure.  If you want to honor Christ, do it when you see Him naked, in the person of the poor.  No use, if you bring silk and precious metals to the temple, and leave Christ to suffer cold and nakedness outside.  No use, if the temple is full of golden vessels, but Christ Himself is starving.  You make golden chalices, but fail to offer cups of cold water to the needy.  Christ, as a homeless stranger, is wandering around and begging, and instead of receiving Him, you make decorations.”  (Florovsky, Georges, Aspects of Church History, Volume IV, Collected Works)

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