The effects of slavery to Honors and Riches

January 23, 2022 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 187
By Venerable Louis of Granada

But this is not the only vice which reduces man to slavery. Study one who is a victim to pride or ambition, and see how eagerly he grasps at honors, how he makes them the end of all his actions.

His house, his servants, his table, his dress, his gait, his bearing, his principles are all fashioned to excite the applause of the world; his words and actions are but baits to win admiration.

If we wonder at the folly of the Emperor Domitian, armed with a bodkin and spending his leisure in the pursuit of flies, how much more astonishing and pitiable it is to see a man devote not only his leisure but a lifetime to the pursuit of worldly vanities which cannot but end in smoke!

Behold how he enslaves himself! He cannot do his own will; he cannot dress to please himself; he cannot go where he chooses; nay, many times he dares not enter a church or converse with virtuous souls, lest His master, the world, should ridicule him.

To satisfy his ambition he imposes upon himself innumerable privations; he lives above his income; he squanders his means; he robs his children of their inheritance, and leaves them only the burden of his debts and the evil example of his follies.

What punishment is more fitting for such madness than that which we are told a certain king inflicted upon an ambitious man, whom he condemned to be executed by having smoke poured into his nostrils till he expired, saying to the unhappy victim that as he had lived for smoke, so it was fit that he should die by smoke?

What shall we say of the avaricious man, whose money is his master and his god? Is it not in this idol that he finds his comfort and his glory? Is it not the end of all his labors, the object of his hopes? For it does he hesitate to neglect body and soul, to deny himself the necessaries of life? Is he restrained even by the fear of God? Can such a man be said to be master of his treasures? On the contrary, is he not their slave as completely as if he were created for his money, and not his money for him?

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