The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.
~ Pope Francis via uCatholic, 20 Quotes From Pope Francis’ First Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”
Let us not cheat ourselves of all this power, glory, blessedness by bartering the enjoyment of all eternal things for a brief season of pleasure that cannot last.
~Nemesius of Emesa, via A Catholic Cappuccino, Please! Catholic Blog
All this is flashy rhetoric about loving You.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, You, all friends, merely to serve my turn.
Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love —a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek—
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.
Only that now You have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything You are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.
For this I bless You as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.
via Ragamuffin Ramblings…
He plunged after poverty as men have dug madly for gold. And it is precisely the positive and passionate quality of this part of his personality that is a challenge to the modern mind in the whole problem of the pursuit of pleasure. There undeniably is the historical fact; and there attached to it is another moral fact almost as undeniable. It is certain that he held on this heroic or unnatural course from the moment when he went forth in his hair-shirt into the winter woods to the moment when he desired even in his death agony to lie bare upon the bare ground, to prove that he had and that he was nothing. And we can say, with almost as deep a certainty, that the stars which passed above that gaunt and wasted corpse stark upon the rocky floor had for once, in all their shining cycles round the world of labouring humanity, looked down upon a happy man.
~G.K. Chesterton, Saint Francis of Assisi