Monday, December 26, 2011

Pride and vanity

Pride and Vanity

from the Hermits by Peter France: 
“But the (Desert) Fathers made an important distinction between pride, the first of the deadly sins and cause of the fall of the angels, and vanity, which is simply the desire for the praise of others. Vanity promotes ostentation; pride, which is more insidious, can make a person indifferent to the impression he makes on others.So vanity is easily spotted; pride often lurks beneath a show of humility and piety.” 
...Pride “creeps into the soul of the righteous person who feels the first twinge of satisfaction in having behaved well.”
Humility-“...The defense against both vanity and pride is humility...Our virtue consists in not making evident a superiority of birth, education or income. Its essence is that those who know themselves to be superior should be at some pains to disguise the fact...The humility of the Desert Fathers was more deep-seated."

...”Discernment-This is the most valuable of the virtues. Many are given humility, many have love, but without discernment they can harm themselves and others. It is a sort of sanctified common sense but by the name of spiritual discernment. It sees the humorous side of exaggeration and affectation.”

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