Just as we did with the vice of pride in our Vices and Virtues Series, we will present here today some attitudes that can serve as warning signs that avarice is present in us.
Let us remember that we bring these attitudes only as simple indicators that can serve us to evaluate ourselves and thus recognize traces of addiction in us.
Warning signs of possible avarice in us
1- Dissatisfaction: the first attitude that appears in the miser is ingratitude. No matter what he has, he always wants more, whether in quantity or quality. Never what he possesses is enough, so he is constantly longing for better, more modern, more expensive things, etc.
It’s common in avaricious people the effort and dedication to obtain something, and immediately after it’s obtained, to fall into a state of disinterest in that and even discouragement, which remains until the desire for something else arises.
2 – Ingratitude: always tied to dissatisfaction comes ungratefulness towards what one possesses.
The miser does not realize that the goods he has at his disposal are a divine gift that God grants out of love and benevolence, even going through secondary causes such as parents, work, benefactors, etc.
The murmuring and complaining constantly appear in the heart and lips of the ungrateful.
3- Excessive concern for goods: the thoughts of the greedy reside in an important percentage in their goods, oscillating between the enjoyment of possessing them, their preservation and how to make them grow. From the thought goes to the acts, so that sometimes there is excessive work (in order to produce more and more wealth) without leaving time for God and for others (family, girlfriend, friends, etc.).
4- Difficulty to share the goods: from the former comes the difficulty to share.
Now, the miser considers goods as something so precious and that they were obtained with so much effort that the only owner and master they “are me” (without realizing that, ironically, the true “owner and master” in this situation are the goods), so that he considers himself the only one deserving of enjoying them.
Faced with the idea that others enjoy their possessions, he specifically suffers from injustice.
He does not like or rejoice in the idea that “his precious possessions” fall into “the hands of others who have done nothing to obtain them”. He knows that sharing demands losing (when I give, I stop having what I give), and he suffers from this.
He does not care if it will help others, for the miser the “joy of giving” seems to be less than that of “receiving”.
No matter how much, he feels stolen.
To avoid this pain, don’t share or share less than you could, making excuses for others and even for yourself, to help you forget the need of the other and to make yours prevail, which is nothing but the taste of possessing in disguise.
5- Excessive accumulation of wealth: in this same line, already in excessive cases, there are people who accumulate great amounts of wealth. This is one of the generating points of negative material poverty in society.
There is positive material poverty, which is that way of detachment and simplicity that many choose voluntarily, and negative material poverty, which is that which is verified by injustice and the poor distribution of goods in society, which leads people to live below their needs and human dignity, and which is certainly not desired by God (cf. Raneiro Cantalamessa, poverty).
This evil has its origin in avarice, which leads a few to accumulate wealth in a disproportionate way and not to share their goods for the common good.
On a smaller scale (for example, a neighborhood or community), the same is true when some have more than they need while others are in need.
Let us take an examination of conscience and see these “symptoms” are present in our lives, in order to recognize whether we are being contaminated by the vice of avarice.
Translation: Sérgio Godoy Jr.