‘Brethren, do not honour your fellow men for their earthly possessions, honour them for the image of God they bear in themselves. Do not esteem what you or what others have, but what you are. Look up to these saints at whose grave we are standing. The world lay invitingly before them, but they trampled upon it with disdain; a long life was before them, and health and wealth and children and comforts and good fortune. While the world was blossoming all about them, in their hearts it had already withered. You see, Christians, how the world shrivels and dies; should it then continue to bloom and blossom in your hearts?
Death is lurking everywhere, and grief, and trouble; from every quarter we are lashed at and sated with bitterness, we pursue the fleeting things of earth and cling to a sinking world. And because we cannot stop its fall, we perish with it. The very transitoriness of the world proves its worthlessness and the foolishness of adhering to it. Cling rather to eternal things, my dear brethren, so that you may come to the glory of heaven, a glory that you already possess through your faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns as King with the Father in union with the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen’.
Pope St Gregory the Great, c.540-604
Fr Lee Kenyon