But woe unto you that are rich! for you have received your consolation.
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Ambrose of Milan
But although in the abundance of wealth many are the allurements to crime, yet many also are the incitements to virtue. Although virtue requires no support, and the offering of the poor man is more commendable than the liberality of the rich, still it is not those who possess riches, but those who know not how to use them, that are condemned by the authority of the heavenly sentence. For as that poor man is more praiseworthy who gives without grudging, so is the rich man more guilty, who ought to return thanks for what he has received, and not to hide without using it the sum which was given him for the common good. It is not therefore the money, but the heart of the possessor which is in fault. And though there be no heavier punishment than to be preserving with anxious fear what is to serve for the advantage of successors, yet since the covetous desires are fed by a certain pleasure of amassing, they who have had their consolation in the present life, have lost an eternal reward. We ...
Now it is plain that the rule of abstinence is necessary, because the Apostle mentions it among the fruits of the Spirit. For the subjection of the body is by nothing so obtained as by abstinence, whereby, as it were a bridle, it becomes us to keep in check the fervor of youth. Abstinence then is the putting to death of sin, the extirpation of passions, the beginning of the spiritual life, blunting in itself the sting of temptations. But lest there should be any agreement with the enemies of God, we must accept every thing as the occasion requires, to show, that to the pure all things are pure, by coming indeed to the necessaries of life, but abstaining altogether from those which conduce to pleasure. But since it is not possible that all should keep the same hours, or the same manner, or the same proportion, still let there be one purpose, never to wait to be filled, for fullness of stomach makes the body itself also unfit for its proper functions, sleepy, and inclined to what is hurt...
Woe to you that are full, for you shall be hungry. That rich man clothed in blue was full, feasting sumptuously every day, but endured in hunger that dreadful “woe,” when from the finger of Lazarus, whom he had despised, he begged a drop of water.
In another way. If those are happy who always hunger after the works of righteousness, they on the other hand are counted to be unhappy, who, pleasing themselves in their own desires, suffer no hunger after the true good. It follows, Woe to you who laugh
But because flattery being the very nurse of sin, like oil to the flames, is wont to minister fuel to those who are on fire with sin, he adds, Woe to you when all men shall speak well of you.
By the false prophets are meant those, who to gain the favor of the multitude attempt to predict future events. The Lord on the mountain pronounces only the blessings of the good, but on the plain he describes also the“woe” of the wicked, because the yet uninstructed hearers must ...
But woe unto you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation. To the four beatitudes Christ, by antithesis, opposes as many states of misery and unhappiness.
The poor are blessed for all eternity, but the rich receive in this world their consolation; the hungry shall be satisfied with good things, but those that are full now shall be sent empty away. They who weep here shall hereafter rejoice, but for those who laugh now there is reserved a future of mourning; and those that are spoken well of by their fellow men, are laying up for themselves an eternity of woe.
For ÎŸÏ…Ì‰Ì€Î±Î¹Ì€, Latin væ, as S. Gregory points out (Hom. ix. on Ezekiel), oftentimes in Scripture denotes the wrath of God and everlasting punishment. Hence this word is here used by Christ partly as a lament over the future and eternal misery of the worldly, (S. Chrysostom, Hom44ad pop.); partly as a prophecy of it (Titus); partly as threatening and decreeing such punishment against them (Tertullian, bk. iv. aga...
Jesus Christ having declared how meritorious poverty of spirit was to eternal life, proceeds to denounce heavy chastisements upon the rich and proud. (St. Cyril in St. Thomas Aquinas)
Although in great riches there are great inducements to sin, yet there are not wanting even in that state great incitements to virtue; neither is this woe aimed against those who abound in affluence; but against "those who abuse that affluence which Providence has bestowed upon them: Non enim census, sed affectus, in crimine est. "(St. Ambrose)
For this expression, woe, is always said in the Scriptures to those who cannot escape from future punishment.
But tell me, why are you distracting and wasting yourself away with pleasures, who must stand before the awful judgment, and give account of all things done here? .
What is said here is not opposed to what our Lord says elsewhere, Let your light shine before men; that is, that we should be eager to do good for the glory of God, not our own. For vain-glory is a baneful thing, and from hence springs iniquity, and despair, and avarice, the mother of evil. But if you seek to turn away from this, ever raise your eyes to God, and be content with that glory which is from Him. For if in all things we must choose the more learned for judges, how do you trust to the many the decision of virtue, and not rather to Him, who before all others know it, and can give and reward it, whose glory therefore if you desire, avoid the praise of men. For no one more excites our admiration thanhe who re...