Father Geiermann continues his discussion of things that trouble the soul. The second is “the world.” Here is how he defines “the world” in this context:
“The world is that part of mankind which rebels against God and follows the inclinations of the flesh.”
“According to the teaching of Jesus Christ, (1) God is all and man nothing; (2) eternity lasting, time fleeting; (3) heaven is incomparable, earth a wilderness; (4) life is a trial, heaven the reward, and hell the punishment.”
“According to the false theory of the world, (1) man is everything and has freed himself from God’s dominion; (2) time is eternal and eternity a fable; (3) the honors, riches, and pleasures of life alone are worthy of man’s ambition; (4) man’s heaven or hell is on earth; (5) life, alas, is too short and ends in gloom; (6) we can have no knowledge of a next world. If there is a heaven God is so good that He will welcome all to it.”
“Christ teaches that we must give honor and glory to God; but the world has arrogated all honor and glory to itself. . . . Christ declared that the first and greatest commandment is to love God above all things, and the next to love our neighbor as ourselves. The world says man’s first duty is to get all the pleasure he can out of life, and the second never to be caught in a dishonorable deed. . . . The world enslaves the thoughtless and simple by its false principles, selfish motives, and deceitful rules of conduct, and ever allures the children of God to forsake the path of virtue, and enter on the broad road that leads to destruction.”
Quotations from Peter Geiermann, The Narrow Way (New York: Benziger, 1914).