Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mass Chat: The great facade: Reputation and Honor.

Pride in external goods. (From I Want To See God,  Fr. Eugene-Marie, OCD)
"The external goods in which one takes pride are all those that secure honor and consideration for their possessor, and therefore exterior advantages and qualities; such as beauty, fortune, fame/name, rank, honors.  These goods simply constitute a facade - brilliant perhaps - which, as we know, conceals our interior poverty very effectually.  And yet we like to dwell on them in secret admiration of our own supposed excellence, and we display them to win honor and praises.  But the world is not deceived; after satisfying what convention requires, it reserves to itself the right to pass interiorly the severe judgement of justice.
This pride, the most foolish but also the least dangerous because exterior, is ordinarily the first to give way before the light of humility (humiliations).  In her Life, St. Teresa of Jesus writes::
Thus the soul "is weary of the time when it paid heed to niceties concerning its own honor, and of the mistaken belief which it had that what the world calls honor is really so.  It now knows it to be a sheer lie and a lie in which we are all living.  It realizes that genuine honor is not deceptive, but true, that it values what has worth and despises what has none; for what passes away, and is not pleasing to God, is worth nothing and less than nothing.  It laughs at itself and at the time it set any store by money and coveted it. [Life, xx; Peers]
I see some people whose actions are very holy and do such wonderful things that everyone is astonished at them!  God bless me then!  Why are such souls still on earth?  How is it they have not reached the summit of perfection?  What is the reason for this?  What can it be that is impeding one who is doing so much good for God?  Why?  Simply because of his punctiliousness about his reputation.  And the worst of it is that this sort of person will not realize he is guilty of such a thing, the reason being that sometimes the devil tells him that punctiliousness is incumbent upon him.  [...]  Such a concern is a thing which harms the soul whenever it occurs, but in the life of prayer, it is pestilential.  [Life, xxxi; Peers]
A day will come when the soul will enjoy a quiet laugh when it sees 'men of prayer making a fuss about niceties concerning their honor'; for it will know very well 'that if they subordinated the authority due to their positions to the love of God they would do more good in a day than they are likely to do as it is in ten years.'" - I Want To See God, Humility; Marie-Eugene, O.C.D.
Icon:  St. John of Egypt - March 27 is his traditional feast day.


  1. Ugh, it has been ages since we've seen more than a quick glimpse of you in the window. Hope you're well! Looking forward to the big melt.

  2. Terry: Pride has been my nemesis and humiliation my great friend. This was a great post and called to mind one of St. Teresa's poems:

    Remember that you have
    only one soul,
    that you have only
    one death to die,
    that you have only one life,
    which is short and has to be
    lived by you alone;
    and that there is only one
    glory which is eternal.
    If you do this, there will be
    many things about which
    you care nothing.
    --St Teresa

    The girl had some kind of backbone, didn't she?

  3. Hi Jenn - I am a live - spending much time in the cellar - painting oddities.

  4. Maria - this post was so for me - speaking about my own pride! LOL!


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