Owning a Slave is no Measure of Worth
Riches ought to be used in a reasonable way, and it is necessary to overcome avarice and share them generously with others. The love of beautiful objects must not become purely selfish. If it does, we shall end up not knowing what the true beauty is like. It would be sad indeed if people were to say of us: 'Their land, their slaves and their capital assets are worth fifteen million, but they themselves are only worth three pennies.' If you separate owners and slaves, you will see that the owners are not different from slaves, in fact they are very like them. If there is any difference, it is that the owners are weaker and more prone to illness than their slaves.
We must continually repeat those amazing words of the Lord: 'Sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, where there are neither robbers nor rust.' [cf . Matt. 19:21; 6:20] The truly rich are not those who keep their riches to themselves but those who give to others. Happiness comes not from possessing wealth but from giving it away. Whatever is generously given away becomes a fruit of t he soul. It therefore becomes the soul's wealth.
Clement of Alexandria
The Teacher, 3, 6 (PG8, 604)