Andrew Sullivan, presumably without any sense of the delicious irony of it all, cites this quote from Thomas Merton:

He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love, will not have anything to give others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressiveness, his ego-centered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means, his doctrinaire prejudices and ideas.

Does the phrase “contagion of his own obsessions” ring any bells for Sullivan?