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Cordoba, Spain, Sep 17, 2022 / 07:00 am (CNA).

In his weekly pastoral letter, Bishop Demetrio Fernández González of Córdoba, Spain, said that the desire for money, dreaming about a big checking account, and getting ourselves into a good financial situation “takes us away from God, dulls our soul, and distances us from the poor and needy.”

“Money grabs our attention and, if we let ourselves go, avarice overtakes us, which can destroy other great values in our lives,” he stressed in his Sept. 15 pastoral letter.

Fernández reflected on the Gospel warning “you cannot serve God and money” and noted that although “the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not the enemy of money,” it warns us that “it’s a danger.”

The prelate said that “the Gospel constantly invites us to voluntary poverty, looking to Christ.” It is a poverty that, far from enslaving or degrading the human being, “taken up with love, makes us free, empties us of ourselves more and more, makes us like Jesus Christ.”

The saints are an example of this, the bishop continued, who, “when they have discovered the richness of God’s love, everything else pales in comparison for them and even gets in the way of identifying more with Jesus Christ.”

This was the case with St. Teresa of Calcutta, who also needed earthly goods to care for the poor “but never accepted government money so as not to cloud her charity,” Fernández explained.

He also highlighted the witness of St. Francis of Assisi, “who married Sister Poverty and has meant for humanity a trail of light and life that survives for centuries.”

“Voluntary poverty, the one that frees us from all baggage, brings us closer to the poorest and brings us closer to God,” the bishop concluded.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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