Saint Ambrose of Milan on Why the Wicked Often Seem to Prosper

St. Ambrose of Milan baptizing St. Augustine of Hippo

Perhaps thou sayest: Why are the wicked joyous? why do they live in luxury? why do they not toil with me? It is because they who have not put down their names to strive for the crown are not bound to undergo the labours of the contest. They who have not gone down into the race-course do not anoint themselves with oil nor get covered with dust. For those whom glory awaits trouble is at hand. The perfumed spectators are wont to look on, not to join in the struggle, nor to endure the sun, the heat, the dust, and the showers. Let the athletes say to them: Come, strive with us. The spectators will but answer: We sit here now to decide about you, but you, if you conquer, will gain the glory of the crown and we shall not.

* This excerpt is from “Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Second Series Volume X – Ambrose Select Works and Letters” edited by Philip Schaff and Rev. Henry Wallace

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