The Seven Capital Sins: #5 Covetousness

Fr. Michael explains the sin of covetousness and gives practical tips on how we can overcome it in our lives.
by Fr. Michael Sliney, LC | Source:
This week I will focus on the sin of covetousness.  Bishop Fulton Sheen describes covetousness as:

 “An inordinate love of the things of this world.  Such love becomes inordinate if one is not guided by a reasonable end, such as a suitable provision for one’s family or the future, or if one is too solicitous in amassing wealth or too parsimonious in dispensing it.” (The Seven Capital Sins, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, p. 81)  
A Winning Strategy for Inner Peace and Authenticity:

1.  Sacraments and Prayer
-   Lots of Eucharist and regular Confession (at least once a month): you cannot conquer these powerful passions without the help of God’s grace. 
-   Pray a Decade of the rosary every day for a greater charity and detachment. The Blessed Mother is the Queen of Charity and a powerful intercessor for us with Christ.
2.  “How blessed are  the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of God is theirs.”   
-   We are pilgrims on this earth journeying towards our true and eternal homeland in heaven; we need to focus on the end and not get too attached and caught up in the means.  
3.  You cannot take it with you:  
-   “But God said to him, Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then? So it is when someone stores up treasures for himself instead of becoming rich in the sight of God.”  (LK 12: 20,21) “The rich man, clinging to his immense fortune, is convinced that he will succeed in overcoming death, just as with money he had lorded it over everything and everyone. But however vast a sum he is prepared to offer, he cannot escape his ultimate destiny. Indeed, like all other men and women, rich and poor, wise and foolish alike, he is doomed to end in the grave, as happens likewise to the powerful, and he will have to leave behind on earth that gold so dear to him and those material possessions he so idolized”  (Pope John Paul II, General Audience, Oct. 20, 2004)
4.  Christ is impressed by generous giving, to the point where it truly hurts:  
-   “In truth I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all who have contributed to the treasury, for they have all put in money they could spare, but she in her poverty has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.” (Mk. 12: 33,34)  
5. Make a clear distinction between “wants” and “needs”:    
-   “A friend of mine kept a notebook by her phone and she wrote down anything she thought she wanted and dated the top of the page. Then she waited 10 days. Often, she said, when she looked back, she no longer needed what she had originally written. She laughed when she told me the only thing that she had recently purchased was a vacuum. THAT passed the 10-day test.”

6. Purity of Intention: 
-   If you are going to make a donation, ask yourself: Why am I doing this? To be recognized, noticed, esteemed, or praised for my generosity?  Or am I doing it in a quiet and anonymous way, purely for the Glory of God?

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