Are we meant to enjoy the world at all?

Are we meant to enjoy the world at all?

I’ve been struggling with something. The Bible and Doctors of the Church insists that all worldly things are temporary and will fade, rust, or die out. That only what God offers is eternal. Are we meant to enjoy the world and anything worldly in it in any capacity?

Yes, we are. All of this world, however temporal, is a creation of God and has value in it that can be enjoyed in the capacity which is proper to it. The point made by the Church and by God is to place a higher value on those things which are NOT temporal (love of each other, love of God, desire to be with our Creator, etc…).

This is really good question. I wonder the same thing but about emotions. There are wide range of feelings to have. As for enjoying this world, I think it is important to not become too attached. A lot of saints seems to love self-flagellation and suffering. At times it honestly turns me off. I think enjoy in moderation? I do not know.

Life is meant for suffering.

Life is nothing but a test and a cross, not meant for enjoyment.

If there is any enjoyment, that is fleeting and not guaranteed - only the cross is guaranteed.

Anything enjoyable is God’s temporal mercy on us.

Read the first chapter of Genesis. Everything God created is good, which to me means He meant us to enjoy it.


(in a good way).

Sacred Scripture: First Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy (4-5)

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”


The First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy ( 6: 17-19) emphasis added:

As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy.

They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous,
thus laying up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed.

(both are from the RSV CE)

What a depressing view of life! As Theresa of Avila said, God save us from sour-faced saints!

:thumbsup: exactly!


This is not church teaching.

I am just curious. I used to enjoy writing short stories, but now I look at this as, “I’m wasting time writing short stories when I could be doing something else better to benefit my soul”. However the world now is so “worldly-possession” oriented that it’s difficult to decide what is something that is bestowed by God that can be enjoyed in the world.

Forgive me if this seems depressing or mopey to some. I’m struggle with trying to get a housing loan approved to buy our first house and I’m worried things won’t work out, so I’m praying quite a bit.

See the truth of this world, nature, other people’s truth and love.

We may enjoy being on this forum, experiencing people’s truth and love. We are able to experience this due to the Internet and computers.
The trouble is that many ‘claim’ that enjoyment onto using the Internet and computers.

For instance, if the Internet/computer shuts down, can we accept that, or do we get upset and feel lost?
If we cannot accept it, it is more than likely we were using worldly attributes to feel okay about self, more than being of service.
If we cannot accept no longer being of service via Internet, it is more likely we were using others worldly attributes (such as kudos) to feel okay more than being unconditional.

It is “claiming” worldly attributes for our okayness that is not good for our spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.
God and Jesus’ way to life (enjoyment, freedom and love) is to be a true person.
Self-honesty is the start of seeing what we are “claiming” for self, instead of surrendering self to God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit of Truth on a daily basis.

That is a judgment that one would make …

Enjoying writing (good) short stories can be a fine thing to engage in.

Or you might judge that you ought at the moment to do something else that is good or needed etc…or that it is better for you here and now to do XYZ.

Most importantly “seek first the Kingdom of God” - follow Jesus Christ in his Church faithfully…get ones life in good order with him as Lord. But writing stories of others or even for enjoyment can fit within such.

Give your whole self to Jesus Christ, worries, deficiencies, joys, talents. All of it.

Consider this:
Jesus Christ himself became a man. He took on full human nature. He ate, drank, spent time with his friends, told stories, as you do. He was “of the world” in every way but sin.
We are called to live like him. Trust him. He is not keeping score waiting to eject you from the game. He loves you, and he loves that you are a human creature of his.

Well, I"m not a saint, and not likely to become one because of my weakness. So I’m a sour-faced sinner.

It is my experience.

It is also the teaching of Christ (take up your cross…)

Fear not, O land!
exult and rejoice!
for the LORD has done great things.
Fear not, beasts of the field!
for the pastures of the plain are green;
The tree bears its fruit,
the fig tree and the vine give their yield.
And do you, O children of Zion,
exult and rejoice in the LORD, your God!
He has given you the teacher of justice:
He has made the rain come down for you,
the early and the late rain as before.
The threshing floors shall be full of grain
and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
You shall eat and be filled,
and shall praise the name of the LORD, your God,
Because he has dealt wondrously with you….

Joel 2:21-24, 26


Saint Paul referred to Christians - as saints.

Christians on earth – who are living “in Christ” – are saints.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church 823 :

"The Church, then, is “the holy People of God,” and her members are called “saints.”

And from Pope Benedict XVI:

“In his First Letter to the Corinthians, St Paul addresses “those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor 1: 2). Indeed, Christians are already saints because Baptism unites them to Jesus and to his Paschal Mystery…”

(and then discussing becoming --more holy --more conformed to Christ he continues…)

“…but at the same time they must become so by conforming themselves every more closely to him.”

Saint Paul uses the term ‘saint’ in various places to simply refer to Christians. Those living on earth…see his various letters.

“Sometimes, people think that holiness is a privileged condition reserved for the few elect. Actually, becoming holy is every Christian’s task… The Apostle writes that God has always blessed us and has chosen us in Christ “that we should be holy and blameless before him… in love” (Eph 1: 3-5). … The “Way” is Christ, the Son, the Holy One of God: “no one comes to the Father but by me [Jesus]” (cf. Jn 14: 6).”

~ Pope Benedict XVI 1 November 2007

Now over the centuries yes another use of the term saints developed. Saints has been yes used for those who have lived as saints in a heroic way (by the grace of God of course).

And yes later a process of canonization developed to recognize them, honor them and propose them as special models for the Christian faithful in following Christ.

Thus one can say there are saints and also Saints in the canonized sense or at least the recognized sense (they were recognized long before the process of canonization developed…especially Our Lady, the Apostles and Martyrs).

We are ‘saints’ via faith and baptism - via the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth…via the Holy Spirit…and yes we are to become more and more so.

So when someone says to me “oh well I am not a saint” I say “you better get to confession then” and the explain what I mean …

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit