and the flames dance higher

 … those who have little are not equally held in subjection by their possessions as those who overflow with affluence, for then the love of it becomes more tyrannical. The increase of acquisitions kindles the flame more, and renders those who possess them poorer. 

This quote is from The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, the Archbishop of Constantinople, on the First Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. and is a good illustration of why he Archbishop was known for his eloquent speech and his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders.His concern for the poor can be seen in many of his homilies as well as other writings.

This is the second post on the Archbishop. Yesterday’s post, “a greater work than raising the dead, was the first. I will be sharing several more over the next few days and weeks.

In this statement the Saint attacks the materialism  of the affluent. Echoing the words of Jesus that no one can serve two masters, the Archbishop tells his readers that the more possessions one accumulates the more those possessions own the possessor.

This admonition of Chrysostom rings even more true today. How many of us are bent double by the heavy load of our possessions? How many of us feel the oppressive weight, the tyranny, of more, of bigger, of better. And, we have to have it now.

The more we acquire the more we must have…and the flames dance higher.