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The Ravages of Empty Pride

February 4, 2013

I just came across this great quote from Chrysostom’s Address on Vainglory. He presents a phenomenal pictures of the ravages reeked within the church by our personal, pointless pride.

Has any man done what I asked? Has he prayed to God on our behalf and on
behalf of the whole body of the Church for the quenching of the conflagration, begotten of Vainglory,1 which is bringing ruin on the entire body of the Church and is tearing the single body asunder into many separate limbs and is disrupting love? Like a wild beast swooping on a healthy, tender, and defenseless body, Vainglory has fastened her foul teeth in her victim and injected poison and filled it with noisome stench. She has severed and cast away some limbs, others she has torn into shreds, others she has chewed up. Yea, if it were possible to look on Vainglory and the Church with our eyes, one would behold a pitiful sight, exceeding by far in savagery the spectacles in the circus — the body of the Church prostrate and Vainglory standing over it, gazing fixedly all round, restraining those that attack her, never giving ground nor drawing back. Which of us will scare away this wild beast? It is the task of Him who has set the contest, when we beseech Him to send his angels, and they, muzzling her bold and shameless mouth as it were with cords, lead her away so. He who has set the contest will do this whenever we cease to long for her when she has been led away. If He bids the dread beast withdraw from us and dismisses it, but we, after we have escaped safely and she has been driven off to her own den, rise up with our countless wounds and seek the beast once more and strike her and overturn her to carry her off.

Let us take to heart Paul’s admonition in Philippians 2:1-5, ” If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Forsake Vainglory, pursue the humility that comes with having the mind of Christ.

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