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It’s easy to want more things. In fact, our culture ingrains this tendency within us at an early age. The modern celebration of Christmas doesn’t help at all, either.
Yet, this inordinate desire for more is not good for us. It leaves us unsatisfied and always looking towards the proverbial greener grass, which is never within reach.
What are we to do?
Venerable Louis of Granada, a Dominican priest of the 16th century, gave his advice in a book rightly called The Sinner’s Guide. In it, he gives a step-by-step plan for sinners who want to start practicing virtue and be released from their slavery to sin.
The first way to combat “covetousness” is to consider Jesus’ birth.
When you are assailed by this vice, arm yourself with the following considerations: Remember that Our Lord and Savior, at his coming into this world, disdained to possess riches, which are the object of your desires. On the contrary, he so loved poverty that He chose for his Mother not a rich and powerful queen, but a poor and humble Virgin. He willed to be born, not in a palace, but in a bleak stable, the manger of which, covered with a little straw, was His only couch.
Jesus’ birth is the perfect meditation that can bring us back from wanting more things.
Another bit of advice is to remember that these material things won’t satisfy our heart.
Moreover, all the riches of the world, did you possess them, would never satisfy the desires of your heart. They would only excite and increase them. However great the possessions you accumulate, there will be a continual void within you; you will never cease to long for more.
If you want to store true riches, use your excess to help the poor and most unfortunate, thinking of the place where you will spend eternity.
Dear Christian, follow the counsel of Our Savior; share your wealth with the poor, that it may be borne before you into the kingdom which you hope to enjoy. What folly to leave your treasures in a place of banishment whither you will never return, instead of sending them before you to that country which is intended for your eternal home!
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