Share Spiritual Wealth
“If there is a rich man, and he makes a costly repast, he spreads out of his wealth and the treasure that he has, and is under no fear that he will run short of anything. … The poor man, who has no such wealth, if he wishes to provide a repast for a few friends, has to borrow the very dishes, the drapery, and everything else. … When it is over, he gives back to each person that which he borrowed. … He himself remains poor and naked. …
“In the same way, when those who are rich in the Holy Ghost, really having the heavenly wealth and the fellowship of the Spirit in themselves, speak to any words of truth, when they impart spiritual discourses to any souls, it is out of their own wealth and out of their own treasure; …. and they have no fear that they should run short. … But one who is poor [in spiritual wisdom], and does not possess of the wealth of Christ, and has no spiritual wealth in his soul,… even if he wishes to speak a word of truth, … yet not possessing it in himself, but only repeating from memory, and borrowing from various parts of the Bible, or what he has heard from spiritual people, … he himself remains naked and poor, having no treasure of the Spirit for his own, upon which he draws.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian
Having Spiritual Wealth
The main point that St. Macarius is making is that before we can share spiritual “Wealth” or spiritual knowledge with others, we must have it in ourselves. He further says that it should not be second-hand spiritual wealth, which is to say, sharing the knowledge of others rather than that which is in ourselves.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t tell others you believe in the Bible and quote some favorite passages. Nor does it mean you can’t quote some modern spiritual guru. The important thing is that you must give credit to the author of the quote and be sure that you know it and practice it yourself before recommending it to others. Just reading spiritual writings doesn’t make you spiritual. Just quoting from someone else’s spiritual experiences doesn’t either.
Under No Fear
The person who is spiritually wealthy and full of spiritual energy can share some of that knowledge and energy with others without fear of running out. I don’t think it is true though that such a person has an unlimited supply. They have access to an unlimited supply, but they don’t have an unlimited supply within them. The physical body could not handle that much energy. What they do have is the ability to replenish their energy when necessary. This is why Jesus, like many other spiritual masters, occasionally had to withdraw from the public. Once they had recharged their spiritual batteries with that spiritual wealth, they could return to preaching, teaching, healing, etc.
Poor in Spiritual Wealth
One who is lacking in spiritual wealth, knowledge, and energy cannot share their energy or knowledge with others. Yet some try, as St. Macarius notes, by quoting from others and sharing the knowledge of others. The result of many people doing this for many generations is that we have modern churches, religions, and even spiritual schools, which teach nothing but the written opinions of spiritual leaders from hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Those written teachings have, in most cases, been modified over the years by governments and priests who thought they knew more than the originator of the teachings.
So what is being taught in many Christian churches, for example, bears little resemblance to the original teachings of Jesus. It is one thing to teach people how to seek and find spiritual truth on their own, all churches and spiritual schools should do that. But simply telling people what to believe rather than how to access the truth for themselves should be avoided.
Wealth of Christ
The Wealth of Christ that St. Macarius refers to is just another way of saying spiritual wealth. What needs to be understood, but is rarely taught in modern Christianity, is that Christ does not necessarily mean Jesus. Yes, Jesus was Christ, but the Christ spirit can be in any one of us. We simply need to practice the necessary spiritual disciplines, such as spiritual sun gazing, to awaken our dormant souls and eventually, the Christ Consciousness within us. That is how you gain spiritual wealth. You don’t find it in books, or by listening to the opinions of others. Real spirituality is an activity. You must work at awakening and developing your own spiritual faculties. Only then can you have spiritual wealth.