Our Only Possessions: Our Virtues

“Do I posses the house in which I live?  No, it is only on loan to me from God while I remain in that place.  Do I possess the clothes I wear?  No, they are on loan to me until I wear them out, or until I give them away to someone in greater need.  Do I possess this body that you see before you?  No, it was lent to me by God when I was born and he will take it back when I die.  Do I possess the mind that is composing the words that I speak?  No, that too was lent by God at my birth and will go when I die.  So do I possess anything?  Yes, I possess the virtues which during my life have grown and flourished within my soul.  Inasmuch as I have grown in love, I possess love.  Inasmuch as I have grown in faith, I possess faith.  Inasmuch as I have grown in gentleness, I possess gentleness.  These things are immortal; they are divine gifts which God will not take away, because he wants heaven itself to be filled with virtue.  And, of course, I possess my soul, in which these virtues have their roots.”  (St John Chrysostom,  On Living Simply, pg 29)