Beware the life of ease

Wait a minute! Is it not possible, they say, to enjoy ease both here and hereafter?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is unattainable; it is one of the impossible things. It simply cannot be that anyone who here enjoys ease and plenty, and continually indulges in every luxury—who lives a vain and aimless life—can also enjoy honor hereafter.

Nevertheless, if he is not troubled by poverty, he still is troubled by desire, and from this cause suffers restraint—a cause that gives rise to no small amount of trouble. Again, if disease does not afflict him, yet evil passion burns within, and it is no slight pain that springs from wrath. If trials are not laid upon him, yet wicked thoughts constantly arise to vex him.

It is by no means a trivial matter to restrain lawless desire, to put a stop to vainglorious thoughts, to check unfeeling pride, to refrain from excess, to live in self-denial. And whoever does not accomplish these things, and things like them, can never attain salvation.

Based on Saint John Chrysostom

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