The love of the world is opposed to the love of God August 11, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, error, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, sanctity, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
I think the topic is pretty straightforward and doesn’t need much introduction. Some excerpts from The Catechism Explained (Spirago-Clarke) pp. 292-294:
The love of the world consists in loving, above all, money, or the gratification of one’s appetites, or earthly honor or anything else in the world, instead of giving the first place to God.
The love of creatures is not in itself sinful, only when the creature is more loved than the Creator. All who love creatures more than God are idolaters, because they give to creatures the honor due to God………The maxim of the man of the world is: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” The love of the world is worse than high treason; it makes a man a traitor to the King of Kings.
Through love of the world, we incur the loss of sanctifying Grace and eternal felicity.
The lover of the world does not possess sanctifying grace……..the Holy Spirit does not dwell in the carnally minded and evil (St. Ambrose). The Holy of Holies cannot dwell in the soul that is stained with sin…….He who is destitute of the presence of the Holy Spirit, that is, of sanctifying grace, shall be cast into exterior darkness (Mt xxii:12). Hence Christ threatens the votaries of the world with eternal damnation: “He that loveth his life (who endeavors to get out of if all enjoyment) shall lose it” (Jn xii:25)……….”Which dost thou prefer,” asks St. Augustine, “to love the world and go to perdition, or to love Christ and enter into life everlasting?” He is a fool who for the sake of this passing world plays away eternal life.
The love of the world blinds the soul of man, and leads him away from God.
The love of the world blinds the soul of man. When earthly things intervene between God and the soul, the soul becomes dark, just as does the moon when the earth is between it and the sun………Hence worldlings cannot comprehend the teaching of the Gospel; it is foolishness to them (I Cor ii:14)……..the lover of the world cannot be enlightened by the Holy Spirit…….The cares of this world stifle the love of God in the heart of man, as thorns choke the sprouting seed. The votaries of the world resemble the men in the Gospel who were invited to the heavenly banquet, but who did not go because of their wife, their farm, their oxen (Lk xiv:16).
The love of the world destroys inner peace, and makes man fear death greatly. [If you read nothing else, read this section and the next!]
The worldling is a stranger to interior peace. It has been well said: A man must choose between indulgence of the senses and tranquility of the soul. The two are not compatible. [Boy ain’t that true! No one is less at peace than the addict. Addiction is a horrid life, there are brief periods after dosing whatever drug when the addict feels anywhere from decent to euphoric, but over times those periods get shorter and shorter, and soon the drug is necessary to simply not feel sick. But the between times……the hours stretching out before the next “hit,” and then the periods when the drug is unavailable, and the withdrawals set in….seconds seem like hours. Everything in life centers around the drug. What a miserable life. The addict’s life is an extreme example, but all who chase the pleasures of the world exhibit the same behaviors to varying degrees] One might as well try to fill a vessel that has holes in it, as to satisfy the heart that strives after the pleasures of time and sense. And since the votaries of this world can never attain interior peace, they want a constant change of amusement, as one who cannot sleep turns restlessly from side to side in the hope of finding rest. [How well does that describe our culture today. 150 channels and “nothing on.”] Christ alone can give us true contentment. He said to His Apostles: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth do I give unto you” (Jn xiv:27). St. Augustine exclaims: “Our heart is restless until it rests in Thee, O Lord!” The lover of the world fears death so much, because he will be parted from his idol, and because death will put an end to the happiness he makes it his object to attain. He has, besides, an inward presentiment of what will follow after death. On account of this all who love the world are filled with apprehension and fear at the hour of death……..the sinner, though he is never free from alarm, dreads the moment above all when his soul will leave the body and enter the presence of her Divine Judge (St. John Chrysostom)………..[T]hose who are entangled in the meshes of the world first feel real anguish when their last hour comes. Think, O worldling, if the joys which the devil offers you are thus mixed with bitterness, what will the torments be which he prepares for you hereafter. [We live in a unique time, when men have so blinded themselves to the possibility of damnation that most souls fervently hope for a quick and painless death. They would rather die without the chance to reconcile to God, so long as they don’t suffer. But even in this, they reveal their fear of what may come later, as this desire for a sudden death reveals a grave fear of having to countenance their earthly demise]
The love of the world gives rise to hatred of God and of His servants
A man who loves the world cannot possibly have the love of God within him…….the human heart cannot love God if love binds it to some earthly object. St. John says: “If any man love the world, the charity of the father is not in him” (I Jn ii:15). We cannot look with the same eye both at Heaven and earth at the same time. The lover of the world even goes so far as to hate God and divine things. Thus Christ says: “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will sustain the one and despise the other” (Mt vi:24). What are awe to conclude if we hear any one rail at priests and at religion? The lover of the world is therefore the enemy of God. “If thou wouldst not be the enemy of God,” says St. Augustine, “be an enemy of the world.” [It is very difficult, is it not, to reconcile “aggiornamento” and openness to the so-called wisdom of the world and especially the post-enlightenment humanist project, with so much of the preceding Magisterium. St. Augustine’s quote seems to stand in stark contrast to the post-conciliar ethos, but that quote was highly representative of the behavior of the Church viz a viz the world for centuries.]
The love of the world ceases at death
There are many things which thou canst only love for a time; then love comes to an end; for either thou wilt be taken from the object of thy affections or it from thee. Hence we should not love that which we may lose, or from which we may be parted; we should only love those things that are eternal (St. Augustine). [This applies even to family. I know some folks who envision Heaven as being all about being reunited with family, which I think misses the point, and may imply a disordered attachment.] Wherefore let not thy heart cling to earthly things. The true servant of God clings no more to his possession than to his clothes, which he puts on and off at will; whereas the indifferent Christian makes them a part of his very being, like the skin of an animal (St. Francis de Sales)………..The soul of man is immortal, and it should only strive after what is immortal. “Seek those things that are above” (Col iii:1). “Therefore choose Him for thy friend,” say St. Thomas a Kempis, “Who, when all others forsake thee, will not abandon thee.”
I thought the above catechesis might be a welcome change from the whole “the world is wonderful!” mentality that seems to have been accepted by so many souls. Even more, very few priests ever speak on the need to forsake the world, the flesh, and the devil.
God willing you will find the above helpful!