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Friday, June 08, 2012

I have been reading Saint Augustine's City of God and found this chapter very interesting and thought I would share it:

Book II Chapter 20:

Of the Kind of Happiness and Life Truly Delighted in by Those Who Inveigh Against the Christian Religion.

But the worshippers and admirers of these gods delight in imitating their scandalous iniquities, and are nowise concerned that the republic be less depraved and licentious. Only let it remain undefeated, they say, only let it flourish and abound in resources; let it be glorious by its victories, or still better, secure in peace; and what matters it to us?

This is our concern, that every man be able to increase his wealth so as to supply his daily prodigalities, and so that the powerful may subject the weak for their own purposes. Let the poor court the rich for a living, and that under their protection they may enjoy a sluggish tranquillity; and let the rich abuse the poor as their dependants, to minister to their pride.

Let the people applaud not those who protect their interests, but those who provide them with pleasure.

Let no severe duty be commanded, no impurity forbidden. Let kings estimate their prosperity, not by the righteousness, but by the servility of their subjects. Let the provinces stand loyal to the kings, not as moral guides, but as lords of their possessions and purveyors of their pleasures; not with a hearty reverence, but a crooked and servile fear.

Let the laws take cognizance rather of the injury done to another man's property, than of that done to one's own person. If a man be a nuisance to his neighbor, or injure his property, family, or person, let him be actionable; but in his own affairs let everyone with impunity do what he will in company with his own family, and with those who willingly join him.

Let there be a plentiful supply of public prostitutes for every one who wishes to use them, but specially for those who are too poor to keep one for their private use. Let there be erected houses of the largest and most ornate description: in these let there be provided the most sumptuous banquets, where every one who pleases may, by day or night, play, drink, vomit, dissipate.

Let there be everywhere heard the rustling of dancers, the loud, immodest laughter of the theatre; let a succession of the most cruel and the most voluptuous pleasures maintain a perpetual excitement.

If such happiness is distasteful to any, let him be branded as a public enemy; and if any attempt to modify or put an end to it let him be silenced, banished, put an end to.

Let these be reckoned the true gods, who procure for the people this condition of things, and preserve it when once possessed. Let them be worshipped as they wish; let them demand whatever games they please, from or with their own worshippers; only let them secure that such felicity be not imperilled by foe, plague, or disaster of any kind.

 What sane man would compare a republic such as this, I will not say to the Roman empire, but to the palace of Sardanapalus, the ancient king who was so abandoned to pleasures, that he caused it to be inscribed on his tomb, that now that he was dead, he possessed only those things which he had swallowed and consumed by his appetites while alive?

If these men had such a king as this, who, while self-indulgent, should lay no severe restraint on them, they would more enthusiastically consecrate to him a temple and a flamen than the ancient Romans did to Romulus.

This was written over 1600 years ago about the Roman Empire, but it could almost word or word apply today.  How many times have we heard things like - "if it is between consenting adults, who cares" - or "whatever they do in their bedroom is ok by me", etc... 

I really like the quote about those who are against any of these evils being silenced, banished or put to an end.

We see this all the time in our society - anytime people hear a truth that they do not want to accept they go on the attack - they will try to silence you, they will try to banish you, and if possible and in some cases, they will kill you. 

It can be something as simple as just trying to get others to ignore you, to calling you or what you say childish names, ie: calling you a "fanatic" claiming what you say is "insane", "venom", "poison", etc..

Very little changes, and the worst ones then and now are the ones who worship a false god.  Try to convince a "devout" novus ordoite of Catholic truth and see what happens.  These people worship their clergy and themselves as God and if you dare to proclaim a Catholic truth that they don't like - look out!

2 comments:

sister clare said...

Where did you get this book?

Pope St. Felix III said...

I have the book on my Nook from Barnes and Nobel (an electronic book) - but it is available online and from Amason - Newadvent has the entire book on line for free.