This Thanksgiving, a Catholic sermon on money-lending: "usury of money is the death of the soul"
By Martin Hill
LibertyFight.com November 25, 2009
On the verge of the season of Advent, and celebrating Thanksgiving, I thought it would be appropriate to share part of a sermon from Pope St. Leo the Great, whose feast day was a few weeks ago, November 10th.
"This sermon was delivered during the "tenth-month," i.e. December. This coincides with our modern fast season of Advent. December still means "tenth-month," but is the actual twelfth month because of the addition of July and August, added later. Translation of sermon from Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Second Series: Vol. XII.
III.Money-Lending at High Interest is in All Respects Iniquitous
"And hence, whatever result follow, the money-lender's trade is always bad, for it is sin either to lessen or increase the sum, in that if he lose what he lent he is wretched, and if he takes more than he lent he is more wretched still. The iniquity of money-lending must absolutely be abjured, and the gain which lacks all humanity must be shunned. A man's possessions are indeed multiplied by these unrighteous and sorry means, but the mind's wealth decays because usury of money is the death of the soul. For what God thinks of such men the most holy Prophet David makes clear, for when he asks, "Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle, or who shall rest upon thy holy hill?" he receives the Divine utterance in reply, from which he learns that that man attains to eternal rest who among other rules of holy living "hath not given his money upon usury:" and thus he who gets deceitful gain from lending his money on usury is shown to be both an alien from God's tabernacle and an exile from His holy hill, and in seeking to enrich himself by other's losses, he deserves to be punished with eternal neediness.
IV. Let Us Avoid Avarice, and Share God's Benefits with Others And so, dearly beloved, do ye who with the whole heart have put your trust in the Lord's promises, flee from this unclean leprosy of avarice, and use God's gift piously and wisely. And since you rejoice in His bounty, take heed that you have those who may share in your joys. For many lack what you have in plenty, and some men's needs afford you opportunity for imitating the Divine goodness, so that through you the Divine benefits may be transferred to others also, and that by being wise stewards of your temporal goods, you may acquire eternal riches. On Wednesday and Friday next, therefore, let us fast, and on Saturday keep vigil with the most blessed Apostle Peter, by whose prayers we may in all things obtain the Divine protection through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured on LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, National Motorists Association, WorldNetDaily, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI 640, The Press Enterprise, Antiwar.com, IamtheWitness.com, FreedomsPhoenix, Rense, BlackBoxVoting, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com