Those who run after the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, never know peace in this life

November 13, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 196

We will first consider the agitation and anxiety of the sinner, in order more keenly to appreciate the blessing of holy peace.

The wicked hearken to the flesh, and, therefore, they are never free from the disturbance caused by the unceasing and insatiable demands of their passions. Deprived of God’s grace which can alone check their unruly appetites, they are a prey to innumerable desires.

Some hunger for honors, titles, and dignities, others long for riches, honorable alliances, amusements, or sensual pleasures. But none of them will ever be fully satisfied, for passion is as insatiable as the daughters of the horse-leech, which continually cry out for more and more. [Prov. xxx. 15.]

This leech is the gnawing desire of our hearts, and its daughters are necessity and concupiscence. The first is a real thirst, the second a fictitious thirst ;but both are equally disturbing.

Therefore, it is evident that without virtue man cannot know peace, either in poverty or riches; for in the former necessity allows him no ease, and in the latter sensuality is continually demanding more.

What rest, what peace, can one enjoy in the midst of ceaseless cries which he cannot satisfy? Could a mother know peace surrounded by children asking for bread which she could not give them?

This, then, is one of the greatest torments of the wicked. “They hunger and thirst,” says the prophet, “and their souls faint within them.” [Ps. cvi. 5.] Having placed their happiness in earthly things, they hunger and thirst for them as the object of all their hope.

The fulfilment of desire, says Solomon, is the tree of life, [Prov. xiii. 12.] Consequently, there is nothing more torturing to the wicked than their unsatisfied desires. And the more their desires are thwarted the stronger and more intense they become.

Their lives, then, are passed in wretched anxiety, constant war raging within them.

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