Do you wonder that the world is failing?

Wonder that the world is grown old. It is as a man who is born, and grows up, and waxes old. There are many complaints in old age; the cough, the rheum, the weakness of the eyes, fretfulness, and weariness. So then as when a man is old; he is full of complaints; so is the world old; and is full of troubles.

Is it a little thing what God has done for us, in that in the world’s old age, He has sent Christ to us, that He may renew us then, when all is failing?

Christ came when all things were growing old, and made them new.

As a made, created, perishing thing, the world was now declining to its fall. It could not but be that it should abound in troubles; He came both to console you in the midst of present troubles, and to promise you everlasting rest.

Choose not then to cleave to this aged world, and to be unwilling to grow young in Christ, who tells you, “The world is perishing, the world is waxing old, the world is failing; is distressed by the heavy breathing of old age. But do not fear, “Thy youth shall be renewed as the eagle’s.”

—Augustine
Adapted from NPNF, 6:356.