Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


6 Entries

When we asked about the chief cause of man's failure in his spiritual purpose, he would reply that it was negligence. On one occasion I asked him how it was that the Fathers give self- esteem as the reason, and he replied, "Yes, that conspires against us too; but not all of us, only those it deceives. And again it affects only a few, because self-esteem corrupts treasures that have been amassed, while negligence does not even let you collect them. Negligence is like a drought in which nothing grows. Self-esteem damages those who have fruit, who have made some progress; whereas negligence harms everyone, because it impedes those who want to make a start, it stops those who have advanced, it does not allow the ignorant to learn, it prevents those who have gone astray from returning, it does not permit the fallen to get up -- in general, negligence spells destruction for all those it holds captive. REF:Elder Joseph (trans. from Greek by Elizabeth Theokritoff), "Elder Joseph the Hesychast," (Mount Athos: The Great and Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi, 1999), pp. 195 - 198

The passion of self-esteem is a three-pronged barb heated and forged by the demons out of vanity, presumption and arrogance. Yet those who dwell under the protection of the God of heaven (cf. Ps. 91.1) detect it easily and shatter its prongs, for through their humility they rise above such vices and find repose in the tree of life. Nikitas Stithatos, Philokalia, Vol. 4

10. Some people when praised for their virtue are delighted, and attribute this pleasurable feeling of self-esteem to grace. Others when reproved for their sins are pained, and they mistake this beneficial pain for the action of sin. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

127. When you see someone suffering great dishonor, you may be sure that he was carried away by thoughts of self-esteem and is now reaping, much to his disgust, the harvest from the seeds which he sowed in his heart. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

138. Acts of kindness and generosity are spoilt by self-esteem, meanness and pleasure, unless these have first been destroyed by fear of God. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

156. If you refuse to accept suffering and dishonor, do not claim to be in a state of repentance because of your other virtues. For self-esteem and insensitivity can serve sin even under the cover of virtue. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

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