How holy your fasting would be if…

How holy your fasting would be if the price of your feast you would send to the poor. You could be more generous than that rich man from whose table the poor Lazarus picked the bread crumbs wishing to get satiated with them, if his dinner would not have been paid with the blood of so many poor and from his glasses would not have been poured out enough cruelty against those whom he had drawn in his net.

Alas, how many are those who are killed only to satisfy your wishes, you rich men. How many misfortunes are brought by your endless greed, with how many miseries are paid your debaucheries.

One throws himself from the highest peaks to enlarge your stores overfilled with food. Another one is ready to climb the highest tree tops to reach a fruit you desire and from which to squeeze the good wines for feasts. Another one would dive into the sea being afraid you might miss fish or oyster from your table and finally another one would freeze cause of the winter cold trying to find for you hares or to catch for you birds. If something didn`t come out as you wished you are ready to slash your servant to death so that your feasts may be splashed with blood

That one who ordered to be brought on a tray at his table the head of a poor prophet was rich too and because he hadn`t found any other reward to give to a dancer he ordered the killing of poor John the Baptist

The worries of the greedy don`t know the respite of nature or the rest of sleep as he is not able to taste from the leisure of eating; nothing of this kind is known by the slavery of sin as long as according to what the Scripture says, `sweet is the sleep of the worker regardless if he eats a lot or a little; while the abundance of the rich doesn`t give him rest not even to sleep. He is always incited by his greed, he is always haunted by the unstoppable desire to grab foreign goods; his envy torments him, he is all the time troubled by useless wishes and the longing after abundance doesn`t let him in peace.

Saint Ambrosius of Milan, Writings in PSB 52, EIBMBOR.

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