The voice of Jesus—My Child, he that loves to serve the world, knows not the world. The world is a true tyrant: and wretched slaves are they that serve it. How many things—what sacrifices does it not exact from its votaries, whom, for all their services, it repays with unceasing evils! It demands that its slaves become the base tools of their passions; that they sacrifice body and soul; that they damn themselves without complaint. And when it has completed their destruction, it forsakes them as useless wretches, fit only for Hellfire.
Oh, at how great a cost do worldlings purchase their own ruin! If they did for Me the half of what they do for the world, how happy should they be, and what Saints! How cruel is the world’s slavery! Under it, how many interior sufferings must be undergone, what hardships endured! And all this for the hope of obtaining such things as, when once tasted, cause death; or such as will produce tortures, either at present, by the irksome possession of them, or after awhile, by a bitter separation. Truly, it is an iron yoke which presses on the neck of worldlings, the weight of which no one does fully know, unless he either tried it, or considers it as he stands on the threshold of eternity.
Whoever desires to be saved must separate his heart from the world. There are those who, by their mode of life, having outwardly bidden farewell to the world, inwardly captivated by the world, in most things, govern themselves by worldly sentiments. There are others, whom their condition in life obliges to live exposed to the dangers of the world; who yet have so divested themselves of every affection for the world, that they never defile themselves with aught that is worldly. It is, therefore, not the kind of life which he leads, nor the shape of the dress which he wears, that connects a man with the world, or estranges him from it; but the affection of the heart, the disposition of the soul. Wherefore, he that is farthest separated in heart from the world, and most closely united to Me, he is dearest to My Heart, in whatever state of life he may live. Wherever, then, My divine Will may have placed thee, there do thou serve Me in holiness. Since, in every state or condition of life, which is good in itself, thou canst live for Me, and sanctify thyself: although it remains true, that a state of life separated from the world, conduces most to secure salvation, and to reach perfection.
How many followers of the world there are, who, convinced of the world’s wickedness, see the necessity of renouncing it by a change of life; yet, dare not do so, too fearful lest the world may rail at them. Is this your fortitude, ye friends of the world? Greatsouled, forsooth, ye are all, who, through fear of empty talk, dare not do what faith dictates, what reason approves, what your greatest interest demands. What are words, but sounds passing through the air and disappearing? Can they stir so much as a hair of the head?
Shalt thou be so fainthearted, My Child, that, for the sake of such words, thou wouldst draw on thyself ruin in time and in eternity? Choose, either to serve Me, to be blissful in My service, and to enjoy the enduring delights of Heaven hereafter: or, to serve the world, to lead inwardly a wretched life, and, at last, to undergo torments never-ending. Behold! life and death, good and evil are placed before thee; whatever thou dost prefer, shall be given thee.
The voice of the Disciple—O kind Jesus! How could I falter in my choice? Wretched me! How could I ever choose what was to render me so unhappy! O infinite Goodness, O my God! Thou hast freed me from error, and hast taught me the truth. Behold! Now I am wholly Thine forever, O Jesus, my true beatitude! Away with thee, deceitful world, most wicked seducer, enemy of God, and of my salvation; thou foe of all that is good, thou defender of all that is evil; O thou, the most cruel of all tyrants!
O world, thou minister of Satan! Too late have I known thee: too long have I loved thee. From this hour, farewell to thee, farewell forevermore!