After all, we are to repent when necessary. These notes are taken the whitestone journal (http://www.whitestonejournal.com/), The Catholic Encyclopedia, Phyllis Tickle’s Greed, C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, Kathleen Norris’ Acedia, Lance Webb’s Conquering the Seven Deadly Sins and Os Guiness’ Steering Through Chaos, and my own experience.
In this form, earthly goods are chiefly a means to an end . . . to achieve personal power. These things can be used to intimidate or bribe others, reinforce one’s own illusions about what is important or to build up a feeling of success. The real problem here is a desire for power rather than actual greed.
To destroy our desire for power, we must be generous in granting power to others. When appropriate, be submissive to others. Avoid jobs that are a temptation for a “power grab.” Share credit for successes with others, and claim a fair share of responsibility for failures being blamed on others. The idea is to stop trying to control everything and everyone.
The Greed of Fear
Fear is a poor motivator for virtue, but an excellent one for greed. Sometimes greed is simply to have so much that we can’t possibly run out. If we acquire enough stock, real estate . . . we think we will be safe from want. This is an illusion.
Part of the cure may be to embrace poverty. We may not become homeless, but we can learn to do with less. “Live simply that others may simply live.” Once this kind of freedom is practiced, we realize we don’t need much anyway.