Earthly pleasures in the balance

I often tend to feel a little guilty about enjoying some of the world’s pleasures in the course of daily life… I guess it’s the puritanical side of me.

I’m thinking the solution for this is to thank God for these little luxuries (a morning cup of coffee, a delicious lunch, an entertaining film, excellent weather, etc.) without letting it tumble over into sin (such as lusting after an actress in said film, being gluttonous at lunch, etc.). How do all of you figure out when you’ve become too attached to earthly pleasures, and when you’re just being scrupulous about a good thing?

I think you should extend effort getting rid of the “puritanical side” because Puritan teachings are heresies.

Haha, well I’m not actually Puritan theologically, I just meant “prudish.” I’ve never been a Calvinist, for instance. :stuck_out_tongue:

You are only too attached if you can’t do without whatever it is. Otherwise, I don’t see where there is a problem.

We are not spirits, but human beings. We are meant to enjoy the things of earth.


The Angels sometimes eat. They ate with Lot. They don’t have bodies, but somehow they can manifest in our physical world and eat a meal with us. There could be an angel right next to you and you might think it is just another human. They also manifest physically and talk to us sometimes, but we don’t always know it is them:

1Let love of the brethren continue. 2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. 3Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated,

Without knowing it. Some of us will talk to angels who have manifested physically during some point in our day tomorrow and not know it.

We do have to be careful not to be excessive with Earthly pleasures. It CAN lead to sin. But yes, even the angels have been known to eat a home cooked meal.

St. Therese said that she used to reject pleasure in eating for some time (and she even felt guilty about enjoying the smell of cologne), but she came to have a healthy appreciation for those little pleasures that God puts before us. Subsequently, she ate what was put before her with simplicity and gratitude.

If we are constantly thinking of earthly pleasures, then we should practice reasonable mortification (under the direction of our confessor). Otherwise, I think a good rule of thumb is to deny ourselves certain pleasures at times, and to have a reasonable enjoyment of them at other times. A good example of this is Servant of God Yvonne-Aimee (a remarkable soul). Upon coming out of ecstasy she asked a young boy for another “delicious” pink sweet.

Childlike simplicity is best.

Yup, I know there’s a reason why I’ve always had St. Therese’s quotations, likenesses, and symbols cross my path over the years :). (I’ve actually been a fan of your blog too–I need to revisit it.) My current plan is to simply invoke the Lord in my day-to-day pleasures, as I tend to merely think that I’m unworthy of them (which we all are, but still–He gives them to us).

This in particular… I need to remember this.

You can’t go wrong with a Doctor of the Church :slight_smile:

Thank you!

Childlike simplicity doesn’t come naturally, but it is natural. “Saint = Child of God.” (I absolutely love this formula from Bl. Dom Marmion)

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