Friday, May 14, 2010

Arrogance, self-opinion and pride.


"They said of Ammon that some people asked him to arbitrate in their quarrel but the hermit took no notice of them.  So a woman said to her neighbor, 'What a fool this neighbor is!'  Ammon heard her and called her, and said, 'You can't imagine how hard I have tried in different deserts to be thought of as a fool!  But now you have recognized that it is part of my nature to be foolish and you have made all my efforts to pretend to folly pointless." - Sayings of the Desert Fathers
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"Ammonas said that for fourteen years in Scetis he had been asking God day and night to give him strength to control his temper." - Ibid
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"Poemen said about John the Short that he asked the Lord to take away his passions.  So his heart was at rest, and he went to a hermit and said, 'I find that I am at peace, with no war between flesh and spirit.'  The hermit said to him, 'Go and ask the Lord to stir up a new war in you.  Fighting is good for the soul.'  When the conflict revived in him, he no longer prayed for it to be taken away, but said, 'Lord, give me the strength to endure this fight.'" - Ibid
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It is good to have our sins uncovered so that we can struggle against them.  It is good to endure temptations which expose our arrogance, self-opinion and pride.  Every affliction and temptation is a sort of reproof which reveals our self-deception and the propensity for sin within us, setting them in motion.  Before troubles, a man imagines himself to be at peace - until some annoyance arises, some temptation or set-back comes along, causing the emotions and the temper to rise up.  This is good, since such troubles reveal what we are, convincing us of our weakness, instructing us in humility, urging us to trust in God alone.
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As the psalmist says, "It was good for me to be afflicted, that I might learn your decrees." - Ps. 119:71

1 comment:

  1. Good food for thought..thanks for sharing...

    Sara

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