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Where Hoarding Comes From

An old man was nearing his death. He had spent his life hoarding riches and was panicked at the thought of leaving it behind. So he began to pray and lo and behold, an angel appeared before him. She said, “I’m sorry, but no one is allowed to bring earthly goods into heaven.” The old man was used to getting what he wanted and insisted that she intercede with God on his behalf. A few days later she returned. “God will make an exception for you. When your time comes, you may bring along one suitcase full of goods.” The man was thrilled. He found his largest suitcase and stuffed it full of gold bars.That night he died in his sleep. He awoke to find himself standing at the gates of heaven, suitcase in hand. St. Peter appeared before him and said, “Please open your bag so that I might inspect its contents.” The man opened his case, and the archangel peered in, curious to know what the man had deemed too precious to leave behind. Seeing only the gold bars St. Peter exclaimed, “You brought pavement?”When we indulge our greed, the benefits we receive are rarely as satisfying as we had thought they would be — and …

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