WELL, DIE TO THE WORLD
must die to the world before we die bodily. For all who live for the world
are dead to God, and no one can begin to live for God unless he first dies
to the world. By this world, we understand the assembly of all sinners who
love the world and are loved by the world. "If the world hates you,
know that it has hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world
would love what is its own. But because you are not of the world. .
.therefore the world hates you."
not love the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the
world, the love of the Father is not in him." "Friendship with the
world is enmity with God. Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of this
world becomes an enemy of God."
live in the world and to despise the goods of the world is something truly
difficult. To see nice things and not love them, to taste sweet things and
not to take delight, to despise honors, to seek labors, gladly to seek the
last place, to yield to all others the higher position and to live in the
flesh as if without flesh, these are all difficult, for this is the angelic
those who have wives to be as if they had none and those who weep as though
not weeping; and those who rejoice as though not rejoicing and those who buy
as not possessing; and those who use this world as though not using it. In
short, be alive to the hope of the heavenly happiness and to be as little
affected by earthly things.
them love their wives, but with as moderate a love as if they did not have
wives. If it is necessary to weep because of loss of loved ones, let them
weep moderately as if they were not saddened. If good fortune or honors
come, rejoice moderately as if there is nothing to rejoice. If they buy a
house, behave as if they did not possess them. If we live in this world,
live as if we are strangers, not citizens. This way, death is not feared but
considered as gain, "For me to live in Christ and to die is gain."
to the world is the way to learn how to die well in the flesh and attain
salvation. Unless you die to the world, you will die a bad death and be
condemned with this world.
die to the world, one does not have to give up riches. . .only the
immoderate love of these things. Abraham, David and Hezechiah, Josiah were
all wealthy but close to God. And we have many holy kings and
emperors. Willing to sacrifice his only beloved son, Isaac, Abraham
would have easily given up his riches.
is the desire for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of
life that is opposed to love of God. The desire for the world must lessen if
love of God must increase. What seems to be an unbearable burden, the giving
up of the world, when done for love God, becomes easy, gentle, sweet and