The prodigal son as an illustration of the tormenting anxieties of those without virtue

November 13, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 197
By Venerable Louis of Granada

The prodigal is a forcible illustration of the unhappy lot of the wicked. Like him, they separate themselves from God and plunge into every vice. They abuse and squander all that God has given them.

They go into a far country where famine rages; and what is this country but the world, so far removed from God, where men hunger with desires which can never be satisfied, where, like ravenous wolves, they are constantly seeking more?

And how do such men understand the duties of life? They recognize no higher duty than that of feeding swine. To satisfy the animal within them, to feed their swinish appetites, is their only aim.

If you would be convinced of this study the life of a worldling. From morning until night, and from night until morning, what is the object of his pursuit? Is it not the gratification of some pleasure of sense, either of sight, of hearing, of taste, or of touch?

Does he not act as if he were a follower of Epicurus and not a disciple of Christ? Does he seem to be conscious that he possesses any faculty but those which he has in common with the beasts?

For what does he live but to enjoy the grossest pleasures of the flesh? What is the end of all his revels, his feasts, his balls, his gallantry, his luxurious couches, his enervating music, his degrading spectacles, but to afford new delights to the flesh?

Give all this what name you will—fashion, refinement, elegance—in the language of God and the Gospel it is feeding swine. For as swine love to wallow in the mire, so these depraved hearts delight to wallow in the mire of sensual pleasures.

But what is most deplorable in this condition is that a son of such noble origin, born to partake of the Bread of Angels at God’s own table, would feed upon husks which cannot even satisfy his hunger.

In truth, the world cannot gratify its votaries. They are so numerous that, like swine grunting and fighting for acorns at the foot of an oak, they quarrel and wrest from one another the pleasures and gratifications for which they hunger.

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