Thursday, 4 June 2009

He that Loves Jesus Christ ought to Hate the World

Whosoever loves Jesus Christ with true love, let him greatly rejoice when he sees himself treated by the world as Jesus Christ was treated, who was hated, scorned, and persecuted by the world, even to an agonizing death upon a shameful cross. The world is all against Jesus Christ; and therefore, hating Jesus Christ, it hates all his servants. Therefore the Lord encouraged his disciples to suffer in peace all the persecutions of the world, saying to them that, having given up the world, they could not but be hated by the world. Ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you.1

And as the lovers of God are hateful to the world, thus the world ought to be hateful to him who loves God. St. Paul said, God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me.2 The Apostle was an odious thing to the world, as a man condemned and dead upon a cross is odious; and thus, in return, the world was odious to St. Paul: The world is crucified unto me.

Jesus Christ chose to die upon the cross for our sins, for this end, that he might deliver us from this evil world.3 Our Lord, having called us to the love of him, desires that we should become superior to the promises and threats of the world. He desires that we should no longer take account of its censures or its praises. We must pray God to make us utterly forget the world, and to make us rejoice when we see the world reject us. It is not enough, in order to belong wholly to God, that we should abandon the world; we must desire that the world should abandon us, and utterly condemn us. Some people leave the world, but they do not cease to wish to be praised by it, at least for having abandoned it; in such persons the desire of worldly estimation causes the world still to live in them.

Thus, then, the world hates the servants of God, and therefore it hates their good examples and holy maxims; and therefore it is necessary that we should hate all the maxims of the world. The wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be.4 The Apostle says it cannot be, for this reason, that the world has no other object but its own interest or pleasure; and thus it cannot agree with those who seek only to please God.

Yea, O Jesus! who wast crucified, and died for me, Thee alone I desire to please. What is the world, what are riches, what are honours? I desire that Thou, my Redeemer, shouldst be all my treasure; to love Thee is my riches. If Thou wilt have me poor, I desire to be poor; if Thou wilt have me humbled and despised by all, I embrace all, and receive it from Thy hands; Thy will shall ever be my comforter. This is the grace that I seek of Thee, that in every event I may not depart a moment from Thy holy will.

1“De mundo non estis . . . propterea odit vos mundus.” -- John, xv. 19.

2“Mihi absit gloriari, nisi in cruce Domini nostri Jesu Christi, per quem mihi mundus crucifixus est, et ego mundo.” -- Gal. vi. 14.

3“Dedit semetipsum pro peccatis nostris, ut eriperet nos de præsenti sæculo nequam.” -- Gal. i. 4.

4“Sapientia carnis inimica est Deo; legi enim Dei non est subjecta, nec enim potest.” -- Rom. viii. 7.

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