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450 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

world. They also enable us to adopt a simplicity of life that frees us from

consumerism and helps us preserve God’s creation.

Sinful inclinations move us to envy what others have and lead to an

unrestrained drive to acquire all that we can. We do have a reasonable

need to acquire the means needed to care for our families. Greed is the

distortion of this desire. The greedy person will stop at nothing to get all

the money and possessions possible.

We need to remember that envy is the companion of greed; it is an

attitude that fills us with sadness at the sight of another’s prosperity.

Envious people can be consumed with so much desire for what others

have that they will even commit crimes to get what they want.

Baptized people should counter envy with humility, thanksgiving to

God for his gifts to oneself and to others, goodwill, and surrender to the

providence of God (cf. CCC, no. 2554). “Christ’s faithful ‘have cruci-

fied the flesh with its passions and desires’ (Gal 5:24); they are led by

the Spirit and follow his desires” (CCC, no. 2555). Poverty of heart is a

way to avoid greed and envy. “Abandonment to the providence of the

Father in heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow. Trust in God is

a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God” (CCC,

no. 2547, citing Mt 6:25-34).




“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as

good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pt 4:10).

What identifies a steward? Safeguarding material and human

resources and using them responsibly are one answer; so is gen-

erous giving of time, talent, and treasure. But being a Christian

steward means more. As Christian stewards, we receive God’s

gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly

in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.