Augustine of Hippo wrote a sermon and delivered it to a shell shocked congregation who learned that Rome had fallen, the barbarians had won, and the world had taken a strange turn.  He was also defending the church from an accusation that Rome fell because of Christians.  He uses the image of the grip we have on certain things and grip that certain things have on us frequently.


You are surprised that the world is losing its grip, that the world is grown old? Think of a man. He is born, he grows up, he becomes old. Old age has many complaints: coughing, shaking, failing eyesight, anxious, terribly tired. A man grows old; he is full of complaints. The world is old; it is full of pressing tribulations. . . . Do not hold on to the old man, the world. Do not refuse to regain your youth in Christ, who says to you: “The world is passing away, the world is losing its grip, the world is short of breath. Do not fear. ‘Your youth shall be renewed as an eagle.’”

His meditations led to a classic of Western Literature called “The City of God”.  It might be the time to read it.