For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:10
This week, we will take a look at the vice of avarice and its opposing virtue mercy. Avarice is the immoderate desire for extreme wealth and material goods. In ancient times, it was known as “covetousness;” today it is known as “greed.” It is natural for man to desire material goods as a means to the basic necessities of life, but avarice turns these goods into gods. “Christian tradition ranks…[avarice]…ahead of lust and second only to pride in the list of all-time spiritual villains,” says Peter Kreeft in his book Back to Virtue.
“Avarice has two parts,” says Kreeft, “greed to get what we don’t have and greed to keep what we have.” “The two opposites of avarice are 1) contentment, voluntary poverty and 2) liberality, generosity, having mercy on others.”