Is luxury living coherent with catholicism?


Where can I find in the bible about such things? I love Sacred scripture, but I have not found an answer to this one. Thank you:)


Try Googling - ‘What does the Bible say about Rich people?’

There are many references that caution about the hoarding of great material wealth.

I am personally reminded of ‘The Widow’s Mite’ and ‘The Rich Man and Poor Lazarus’.


What about luxury living with much of almsgiving?



God does not call everybody to be poor.

However, we need to be sure that we do not place our confidence in our silos, as the man in our LORD’s parable did, to no benefit.



Of course luxury is a moving target…is it a big flatscreen? Smartphone? Heating & cooling? Roof that doesn’t leak? Not starving? Seeing a dentist every couple of years? Decent shoes? Most of the world even today would say yes to the above, all of which is pretty mundane in the West. I worry more about materialism than luxury.


Maybe Luxury apartment or Luxury house? Any sin in such things?


This is one of the greatest problems in the world today. People seeking their own enrichment instead of seeking the good of their fellow human beings.


As in all of the blessings we are given by God, either material or spiritual, it is WHAT WE DO WITH THEM is important.

I would challenge you in that the question you asked is misguided. The question should be does this item (condo, car, TV, etc) bring me closer to God or becomes a stumbling block in my relationship with God? For some a $1,000,000 house can be a place where they can provide comfort and rest to family members and friends become welcoming people. For others, a studio apartment can be one’s own prison where we shut out the world.

I hope this helps.


We need to practice some amount of self-denial. This is present in the Gospel teachings. Some verses: any man that shall save his life will lose it, pick up your cross and follow me, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven.

We must be careful not to get too comfortable in this life. Look at the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.

It’s important that we not focus too much on self because if we don’t love our neighbor, as did the rich man, we will not enter the kingdom.

I like what St. Ambrose said:

***The present life is given us, not for repose, but that we may labor, and by our toils, merit eternal glory.


They can lead to sins of omission. But not always. We are obligated to give aid to the poor. All the saints were very generous in this aspect. Getting too comfortable can also lead us to more intentional sins. Having lots of things or really nice things can strongly encourage a person to pride, for example.

But I think Joseph of Armiathea and Nicodemius were wealthy, yet they took their money and used it in providing for proper burial and a tomb for Jesus.
After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. 39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.*


This is a great answer!

Money is a tool. People decide through their actions whether it will be used for good or for evil.


But the question still comes down to: what does “luxury” mean in terms of a house or apartment (or anything else for that matter)? Two bathrooms? Air conditioned? A big yard? Swimming pool? None of these things are bad in themselves. In some parts of the country a $400,000 home would be considered “luxury,” and in other places that wouldn’t even get you a “starter” house. If someone paid $40,000 for a home in the 1970’s, and that home is now worth $400,000 because of real estate values having gone up, I don’t think anyone is saying that there’s a moral obligation to sell the home to avoid living in “luxury.”


Is luxury living with much alms is coherent with catholicism?

I suppose the rich man and lazarus, the rich man went to hell because he did not share the food from his table…

Thanks for all the answers.


Pope Francis is a good example of someone that is obviously uncomfortable with the luxury surrounding the Papacy. He is trying to set some new traditions or ways of thinking about how the Pope must (or can) live.


As other posters have said, it’s not necessarily about how much we have, it’s about whether or not we serve the call to charity with what God has given us.

How attached are we to our stuff?
A person might hoard his possessions and lifestyle for his own luxury.

A person might be attached in an inverse way as well. I have a family member with a distorted sense of humility. He remains poor because he does not participate in life. He makes it a point not to have a job very long, not to engage with “sinners”, to make sure everyone knows that possessions are not important to him. He is very proud that he can live on $20/per week. While virtue is something to be sought, a false sense can be outside the bounds of charity. He would better serve charity by pulling himself up and gaining some security in life, so our mother can sleep without wondering if he has enough food.

I think awareness of others’ poverty is healthy. Guilt over our blessings is not. Perhaps we simply need to listen when God is stirring us. Perhaps he is calling you to change your lifestyle, not because you are guilty, but because he wants you to love others more fully.


No one has asked what is meant by “coherent.” Salvation? One can go to Heaven and one can be a good Catholic and still spend on luxuries. However, the more one has, the more opportunity one has to sin in mismanagement of God’s money, for the whole of creation belongs to God. The more one is given in stewardship (is richer), the more will be required of that stewardship. I think the greater our level of luxury, the lesser our charity towards others. In other words, one can be rich and live in luxury and be a good Christian, but one can be rich and live in less luxury so as to give more to others and be a better Christian, spending one’s money on eternity and not the material present.

I am reminded of the ending scene on Schindler’s List. I think we will all face one day every act we failed to do. Yes, Schindler risked his life to save others and gave up much wealth. Yet at the end, everything he still owned he saw as a failure to help others.

I would say, seeing that it is very difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, it would be very important for people of wealth to stay close to a spiritual adviser of some sort to help deal with the tremendous burden.


One could also make the argument that the less we have in our daily existence the more time we have to spend on meeting our daily needs and posssibly forsake the needs of others. There is tremendous spiritual burden in being poor as well.


A number of Saints have been nobles and Kings and Queens, so living well is not prohibited, particularly if you use your wealth to build up profitable companies that provide gainful employment for a large number of people. Then it would actually be a virtue.


23And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24"Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The discussion usually centers around what Jesus means by “rich”.
One can be rich in material wealth and one can also be spiritually bloated.


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