And when he had spent everything, there arose a great famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
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Cornelius a Lapide
And when he had spent all . . . he began to be in want. Or, according to the Arabic, "he became destitute," as those who lose by one year"s debauchery all that their parents have left them; and after that are reduced to misery and to begging their bread. Nor do they lose their property only, but their health and good name as well, and by reason of the foulness of their habits and the diseases which they contract, become a burden to themselves, and a disgust to their fellowmen. For it is acknowledged by all that luxury and extravagance make the richest poor, and reduce men to the very verge of starvation.
Mystically. The sinner suffers from the want of all things, whether of nature or of grace, because he turns the gifts which he possesses to his own destruction, and therefore is in a far worse condition than if he had never received them.
And again, the sinner being without God, lacks everything; for all things depend upon Him, and in Him live and have their being. Hence the Interlinear, "Every place whence the Father is absent, is a place of penury and want." For he who has not God possesses nothing, although he be king of the whole world. Again he who has God possesses all things, although he may not have a farthing to call his own. Or, as S. Francis expresses it, "God is mine and all things." For God alone can be said to be; and all things else compared to Him, not to be. See Exod. iii
Moreover, the Gloss says, "Pleasure always hungers for itself—the more we indulge in it, the more insatiably we thirst after it;" and S. Jerome, "Our health and strength depart from us by reason of our sinful indulgences, yet we do not lose the desire of indulging.
"While yet in sport, for other sports we burn,
In gardens fair, for other gardens yearn."