And whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my reward of all my labor.
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They nourish their hearts in selfindulgence who, according to the word of Ecclesiastes, do not prevent their heart from enjoying every wish and from delighting itself in the things which they have prepared. And they count it their due if they themselves make use of their own labors, having no care for the support and solace of the poor.
As is well known, the person who toils for something in his heart suffers if he does not succeed with it. Ecclesiastes thus wants to say: I did not fail in any of the things I hoped for in my toil. Further: The person who strives for knowledge and pursues virtue “toils.” … The person who toils for the things that are useful for the soul and that adorn the inner person says about himself: “I found pleasure in all my toil.”
“Heart” does not here signify the organ but reason. In a different passage [we read]: “Blessed are the pure in heart.” This means with regard to reason. And: “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart.” The heart thus understood does not need to be “kept from pleasure.” It derives pleasure from appropriate views and meditations based on knowledge. By knowledge I mean knowledge that is in accordance with God.
In the literal sense the following is meant: If I desired something among the things in the visible world, I did not keep my eyes from them. I got everything that I longed for. John says in his letter: “The desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches comes not from the Father but from the world.” Even if they do “not come from the Father” as the gifts of grace and of the Spirit, they are nevertheless from God. Desire for visible things, however, should not be consuming but should instead be appropriate to that which is desired.
Labour. Hebrew, "and this was my portion of all my labour. "I perceived that I could not thus obtain content. (Calmet)
"Thou (O God) hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless till they repose in thee. "(St. Augustine, Confessions i. 1.) (Menochius)
Aurelius makes the same confession as Solomon, respecting the insatiable nature of his own heart, and the emptiness of pleasure