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Thomas S. Monaghan Testimonial
I've never read anything that hit me as hard as "The Great Sin", by C.S. Lewis.
It's a short chapter from one of his books, but after I read it, I stayed up most of the night reviewing my life.
As I did, I realized that a lot of the things about me that I thought were good - being competitive, driving for success, always trying harder than anybody else - weren't necessarily that good after all.
I had worked hard at my business, sacrificing and doing without so that I could have more later. I had to have the best, to be the best, and I asked myself why. Was it largely because I wanted to be better than others?
Lewis writes, "We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest."
That was a dose of reality for me. What I'd thought of as a virtue - the drive to be better and have more than others - turned out to be a vice. It wasn't what I was doing that was bad, Lewis said, but why I was doing it.
What a shock! I immediately thought of the one thing I was obsessed with, the project that consumed my time and enthusiasm: my dream house.
As a frustrated architect, I'd been planning it for years. I spent hours dreaming about it, reading about it, looking at designs, thinking up new features that would make it unique. It had become my passion.
But when I realized what was really driving me - the desire to have something no one else had - I knew what had to be done, and my wife Margie had no objection. Even though the foundation was already in and the construction one-third completed, we stopped work on it the next morning.
I was amazed to discover that this single decision gave me an immediate sense of freedom. I found myself more content and more at peace. I was able to re-focus my time on activities that reflect ultimate concerns and goals.
Chuck Colson, the former White House special counsel, says that it was this very chapter that changed the course of his life. It did the same for me.
This resource is part of a series on Mere Christianity. Click here to listen to the full series.
Thomas S. Monaghan
Thomas S. Monaghan, is an American entrepreneur who founded Domino's Pizza in 1960. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and owned the Detroit Tigers from 1983 to 1992. He established the Mater Christi Foundation, better known as the Ave Maria Foundation, to focus on catholic education, media, community projects and other charities in 1983. Monaghan dedicated his time and considerable fortune to Catholic causes. A champion of the pro-life movement and other Catholic teachings "to combat the nation's 'moral crisis'", Monaghan has spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting them.