The words of the Ecclesiastes are literally wounding. He shows a world which is cut off from any ‘higher purpose’. There is nothing ‘Sacred’ which would frame his world. The question is whether this type of world is not responsible for its sufferings? It seems (we tend to forget it) that the motor of this suffering is the ‘blind desire’ which governs people. At the core of this blind desire we find the refusal of being embraced by the Sacred. The pain of the Ecclesiastes becomes a sentence on culture. Desire driven life without a purpose of becoming compassionate is a wasted life. Tragic blindness governs our culture.
‘Pray that ye enter not into temptation.’ ‘Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.’ When Jesus prays on the Mount of Olives, it is a call for reawakening from the aforementioned blindness. In his disciples (that is why he asks them to pray), he is facing this inertia of history. (It is inert, and melancholic, because it refuses to engage with the Sacred, the meaning of Life.) Jesus challenges us. Do not be (blindly) desire driven, without the purpose of being united with the Christ in prayer.
‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.’ Jesus personally fights this blindness in us: he also speaks on our behalf. Not the will of our culture, not its narcissistic escape from divine Love (the Sacred) be done, but our reawakening in this Love.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..