Home > Books on Spiritual Formation, Leadership, Spirituality > The sin of wanting to be heard

The sin of wanting to be heard

January 25, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

That is the title of the reading on Jan 7 in A Year with Merton.  When i read this, I realized how true it is that I want to be heard.  A sin?  Here is what Merton wrote,

The sin of wanting to be a pontiff, of wanting to be heard, of wanting converts, discioples. . . I thought I did not want this.  Of course I did, and everyone knows it. (Italkics original)

I guess I realized that there is in me a longing, maybe even a craving to influence others, to have my disciples or my mentorees.  This may start out with the right motivation but it quickly becomes about me and becomes a thing of pride.  I have been in some situations where this is encouraged, in fact where statistics are kept on this.  In looking back over the past year, one of my frustrations has been that I think that I have not been heard.  How easily that can become the focus and lead to manipulation and choices that will allow me to be heard–prideful longings that must be renounced as Merton says.

I have got to face the fact that there is in me a desire for survival as pontiff, prophet and writer, and this has to be renounced before I can be myself at last.

So, to be my true self and not live according to some false self that wants and/or needs to be heard, I need to renounce this desire.  I am not sure how to renounce something.

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