The danger of vainglory, and considerations to remedy it

November 2, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 327

Consider also the danger of vainglory, the daughter of pride, which as St. Bernard says, enters lightly but wounds deeply.

Therefore, when men praise you, think whether you really possess the qualities for which they commend you. If you do not you have no reason to be proud. But if you have justly merited their praise, remember the gifts of God, and say with the Apostle: “By the grace of God I am what I am.” [1 Cor. xv. 10.]

Humble yourself, then, when you hear the song of praise, and refer all to the glory of God. Thus you will render yourself not unworthy of what He bestows upon you.

For it is incontestable that the respect men pay you, and the good for which they honor you, are due to God. You rob Him, therefore, of all the merit which you appropriate to yourself. Can any servant be more unfaithful than one who steals his master’s glory?

Consider, moreover, how unreasonable it is to rate your merit by the inconstant opinion of men who to-day are for you, and to-morrow against you; who to-day honor yon, and to-morrow revile you.

If your merit rests upon so slight a foundation, at one time you will be great, at another base, and again nothing at all, according to the capricious variations of the minds of men.

Oh! no; do not rely upon the vain commendations of others, but upon what you really know of yourself.

Though men extol you to the skies, listen to the warnings of your conscience and accept the testimony of this intimate friend rather than the blind opinion of those who can judge you only from a distance and by what they hear.

Make no account of the judgments of men, but commit your glory to the care of God, Whose wisdom will preserve it for you and Whose fidelity will restore it to you in the sight of Angels and men.

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