Leisure, the Basis of Culture

From Benedict XVI, VATICAN CITY, AUG. 20, 2006 (Zenit.org)… It is necessary to pay attention to the dangers of excessive activity, regardless of one’s condition and occupation, observes the saint (Bernard of Clairvaux), because — as he said to the Pope of that time, and to all Popes and to all of us — numerous occupations often lead to “hardness of heart, … they are no more than suffering for the spirit, loss of intelligence and dispersion of grace”. … The message that, in this connection, Bernard addresses to the Pontiff, who had been his disciple at Clairvaux, is provocative: “See where these accursed occupations can lead you, if you continue to lose yourself in them — without leaving anything of yourself for yourself”.


  1. Gerald L. Campbell

    August 27, 2006 @ 10:47 am


    Bermard of Clairvaux speaks of these accursed occupations that lead to a harding of the heart and a subsequent loss of intelligence and a dispersion of grace. All fine and well. But at the heart of the Protestant ethic is the notion of work. The need for “work” flows out of a radical denial of the intellect’s capacity to know truth as a consequence of original sin. When you look at Kant’s ethics, you’ll see what I mean.

    The ethical is what we MAKE it to be. Being moral is Hard Work.

  2. Gerald L. Campbell

    August 27, 2006 @ 6:26 pm


    “The ethical is what we MAKE it to be. Being moral is Hard Work.”

    This statement, of course, is contrary to the deeper philosophical tradition represented in this case by Bernard of Clairvaux. Hard work is no criterion of goodness.

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