Saturday, November 7, 2015

Overcoming pride ( Elder Macarius )

We continually hear that pride is at the root of our sinfulness. In God's eyes it is the the penitent sinner that is preferred to the proud person. The remedy to pride is humility, but how does one develop humility?

Here is what Elder Macarius has to say,

Well, acquire this art through reading the Fathers; pitiless self-examination and self-accusation help too; also, making clear to ourselves how much worse we are than others; and refraining from all condemnation of them while we accept all their condemnation of us, as sent by God to cure our hideous spiritual sores.This battle for humility is not an easy one or one that is quickly won. It is not easy to refrain from condemning others while accepting the condemnation that is given to us. We are constantly being tripped up by our passions. A high degree of discipline in life is required. We must always be on the alert. As we progress along this narrow and difficult path we will be tempted to have pride in our progress. When this occurs our progress ends. Our success in life, our well-being at work or in the home, can also hinder us by stroking our pride. Our successes make us feel as if we are in control. The more successful we are in a worldly life it is all the harder to develop humility.

The Elder says,

Humility is the only weapon that wards off all attacks, but it is difficult to fashion, and the art of using it is often misunderstood, particularly by those who live an active life.... Remember always that the whole of human misery is the consequence of pride. Humility alone is the path to joy, the gate to the blessed nearness––the intimacy of God.

Elder Macarius

Εγω πατήρ, εγώ αδελφός, εγώ νυμφίος...( Αγιος Ιωάννης ο Χρυσόστομος )

Εγώ πατήρ, εγώ αδελφός, εγώ νυμφίος, εγώ οικία, εγώ τροφεύς, εγώ ιμάτιον, εγώ ρίζα, εγώ θεμέλιος, παν όπερ αν θέλεις εγώ. Μηδενός εν χρεία καταστείς. Εγώ δουλεύσω.
Ήλθον γαρ διακονήσαι, ου διακονηθήναι. Εγώ και φίλος και ξένος και κεφαλή και αδελφός και αδελφή και μήτηρ. Πάντα εγώ.
Μόνον οικείως έχε προς εμέ. Εγώ πένης δια σέ και αλήτης δια σέ, επι σταυρού δια σέ, άνω υπέρ σου εντυγχάνω τω Πατρί κάτω υπέρ σου πρεσβευτής παραγέγονα παρά του Πατρός.
Πάντα μοι σύ και αδελφός και συγκληρονόμος και φίλος και μέλος.

Τι πλέον θέλεις;

Αγιος Ιωάννης ο Χρυσόστομος