Sayings of the Saints
  • On the World and its Maxims
"All that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the
eyes, and the pride of life.
       --JOHN 1:16

THE WORLD which encompasses us is full of snares. One cannot dwell in it even for
a short time without danger. You open your eyes, and the guard you thought you
had over self is dispelled; you lend your ear to public discussions, and your
attachment to party spirit breaks out; you walk in places strewn with flower-beds
and flowers, and your thoughts wander on joys, etc.; you taste delicacies which are
offered to you, and the poison of sensuality is hid therein; you extend your hand,
and it is enough to cause an embrace.

Ah! who can walk with a firm, unshaken step in the midst of the passions of the
world, amidst its seductive charms? Let us, then, think and meditate on the words of
Job, "The life of man on earth is a continual warfare."

ST. AMBROSE

THE WORLD is more dangerous when it flatters us than when it ill-treats us; we
should be more careful of trusting it when it invites us to love it, than when it
admonishes us, and compels us to despise it.
The chains that bind us to the world are pleasing to look at, but hard to bear; the
harm they inflict is certain, the pleasure they promise very doubtful. Those who wear
them are ever busy, but never exempt from dread.

They who follow the maxims of the world, experience nothing but misery, and the
flattering expectation of happiness is delusive and vain.
Would you wish not to be an enemy of God? Do not be a friend of the world.

ST. AUGUSTINE
Epistles