Perfecting the self is both an inner and an outer work: You cannot improve yourself without communicating with other people, influencing them, and being influenced by them.
Three temptations torture people: sexual desire, pride and lust for wealth. All the misfortunes of mankind come from these three cravings. Without them; people would live in happiness. But how can we get rid of these terrible illnesses? . . . Work on yourself and improve yourself; this is the answer. Start the improvement of this world from within.
— F. Robert De Lamennais
“Be perfect, as your heavenly Father,” Christ said. This does not mean that Christ asked people to be as good as God, only that everyone should strive for perfection.
Pure perfection can be found only in God; one’s life consists of becoming closer to God. And when a person knows that good is good and that evil is evil, then he or she gets closer to good, and moves farther from evil.
There is nothing more harmful to you than improving only your material, animal side of life. There is nothing more beneficial, both for you and for others, than activity directed to the improvement of your soul.