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“Isn’t it strange how much easier it is to thank God when you have almost nothing, than it is when you have much more than you need? I have noticed this in myself. I am very thankful to God when I have a little bread (when I might not have any), but when I have bread going moldy because I have so many other things to eat, I forget to give thanks. When we have abundance, we have to force ourselves give thanks, otherwise we won’t.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“I have realized that the destruction of man lies in the abundance of material goods, because it prevents him from experiencing the presence of God and appreciating His benevolence. If you want to take someone away from God, give him plenty of material goods. He will instantly forget Him forever.” (Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain)

“The world furnishes us with excuses for not going to Church, not being forgiven (John 20:23), not hearing His peace (vs. 21), not being filled with the life-giving Spirit (vs. 22), and not receiving His true Body (vs. 27). Instead, it suggests pleasures in abundance: extra sleep, travel, sports, hobbies, entertainment, and ease. The world corrupts; the Lord heals and fulfills. We either choose to join in the liturgy, in the work of the people of God, or we avoid this decision to our loss.” (Dynamis 4/26/2020)

“The man who has become purely and simply a business man, whose sympathies, thoughts, aims, ambitions, aspirations are all absorbed in business, is a man who does not know how to live well in abundance. He has simply lost the secret of life…Let us pray together to undergo toil here, so that we may deserve to gain the consolation of eternal rest in the kingdom of heaven. For prosperity and abundance constitute a powerful inducement to do wrong; they exalt a man to pride and induce him to forget his Creator.” (Washington Gladden, St. Ambrose of Milan)

“…the Lord accounts the value of a gift not by how much is given, but by how much is kept back. Thus the poor widow is counted to have given a great gift, having kept nothing for herself. Those who give out of their abundance (Mark 12:44) but keep plenty for themselves are counted by God to have given very little. In the conversion of Cornelius, we learn that God takes note of our giving (Acts 10:4).” (Orthodox Study Bible, Mark 12:41-44)


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