Merton on Money

The true ‘Law’ of our day is the law of wealth and material power. The fate of men, indeed of mankind itself, depends on the laws of economics. It is the market that in reality determines the existence, indeed the survival, of all men and dictates the ideals and actualities of social life. In our time the struggle of mercy is, then, not against rigid and inflexible morality but against a different and more subtle hardening of heart, a general loss of trust and of love that is rooted in greed and belief in money. What irony t hat this faith in money, this trust in the laws of the market, this love of wealth and power should have come to be identified with Christianity and freedom in so many minds, as if the freedom to make money were the freedom of the sons of God, and as if…money had demonically usurped the role in modern society which the Holy Spirit is supposed to have in the Church.

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