Yesterday on the radio I heard a few minutes with Donald Trump. Expecting some wisdom from this sage on gaining riches what I heard was astonishing. What followed was not a litany of wisdom for the masses of moshes out here the jungle, no, what followed was a sad line of self-promotion and ads. A book written about...who? Trump. Then a succession of ads from Trump's mouth promoting "Carfax, Casinos, and Commodities" I stopped and thought...this is "success?" What is Donald now producing? I thought to myself - as a culture will we not do anything if paid. I thought to myself "have we not prostituted ourselves to material gain" Do we not all do this in some way or another - or perhaps there is escape through a Biblical value - that of generosity. What is the extent of my own prostitution to the idols of gold and silver? What extent do we serve money and not God? Jesus was pretty clear about serving both...
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Saint Augustine once said this in reference to material things:
“Suppose brethren, a man should make a ring for his betrothed, and she should love the ring more wholeheartedly than the betrothed who made it for her….Certainly, let here love his gift: but, if she should say, “The ring is enough. I do not want to see his face again” what would we say of her?...The pledge is given her by the betrothed just that, in his pledge, he himself may be loved. God, then, has given you all these things. Love him who made them.”
Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1969) p. 326 (Tractate on the Epistle of John, 2:11)
Love him who made them...Out