Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their dragnet; because by them their portion is luxurious, and their food plentiful.
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Caesarius of Arles
The entire life of the saints is engaged in this war, for there happens in them what is written: “The flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.” They, indeed, fight, but they are not overcome. What shall I say about wicked, carnal and dissipated souls who do not struggle but are carried along in subjection? Because they follow willingly, and of their own accord [they] devote themselves to wicked deeds. With such souls the devil does not condescend to fight at all, because they never or only with difficulty oppose his counsels. But with the saints he has daily struggles, because it is written of him, “His food is rich.” This, I repeat, is the life of the saints, and in this war people are always in danger until they die. But what are the saints going to say at the end, that is, in the triumph of victory? “O death, where is your victory?” This will be the word of the triumphant. “O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin,” and death arises from its c...
Drag, adoring his own arms and prowess, (Sanct.) like Mezentius and Capaneus:
Dextra mihi Deus, (Virgil, Æneid x.) Te voco, te solum, superum contempt or, adoro. (Stat. x.)
Guevare thinks fishes were adored, as they were among the Syrians. Nabuchodonosor attributed all to his own genius, or to Bel, whose statue he set up, Daniel iii. (Calmet)
Victorious nations thus honour themselves and not God.
Although, in general, this inflation of pride attacks many people, there are none who have to fear it more than those who have reached the perfection of virtues of the spirit or copious riches and highest offices in the flesh. It becomes all the greater in their cases, because the one who shows pride is greater. It is not content to destroy lowly and common people, but it is also present in the wiles of the greatest. The higher their rank, the deeper their fall. Hence Scripture also has this to say about the same spirit of pride: “And his food,” it says, “is rich.” It attacks people who are select and lofty. It suggests to them that they are great, that they need nothing, that whatever they do, think or say is all due to their wisdom and their prudence. If something turns out well for them under God’s direction, they straightaway claim that it was due to their own strength and their own industry, and they shout, “I did this,” “I said it,” “I thought it,” and as if everyone were stunned...