On Not Living for Your Own Pleasure

Fr. Thomas Merton

By: Fr. Thomas Merton

You cannot live for your own pleasure and your own convenience without inevitably hurting and injuring the feelings and the interests of practically everybody else you meet…most people more or less live for themselves and for their own interests and pleasures or for those of their own family or group, and therefore they are constantly interfering with one another’s aims, and hurting one another and injuring one another, whether they mean it or not.

Exerpt taken from the book- The Seven Storey Mountain, by: Fr. Thomas Merton


2 Responses to “On Not Living for Your Own Pleasure”

  1. 1 Debbie Winn Norris August 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I need to read this slowly, two or three times, every morning before setting out into the world. It is so easy to allow your motivations, desires, and plans to become self serving instead of Christ serving.

  2. 2 Stephanie Niko August 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I experienced this recently when I set up a church architecture tour and almost no one from my church showed up. Someone told me they just weren’t interested in architecture. “And you think I’m so interested in all the things I attend?” I wanted to shout. “I go because I want to support the person, even if I’m not interested in the specifics of what they’re doing.” But I didn’t say that. I often don’t show up to support others. I always have an excuse. I’m too busy with my writing. I’m tired. Me, me, me. Being on the opposite side and not having friends support me was hurtful but it was a good reminder to be there for others.

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St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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