De Contemptu Mundi
by St. Eucherius of Lyons
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In the early fifth century, St. Eucherius became famous across southeastern Gaul for
his piety and asceticism. In this letter to his kinsman, Valerianus, Eucherius entreats
Valerianus to give up his wealth, titles, and future in order to dedicate himself to God.
The Saint argues that these worldly pleasures only work to distract the soul from its
heavenly purpose. Instead, the faithful heed the words of Matthew 6:19-21: “Do not
lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves
break in and steal, but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust
destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also.”