Short remedies against pride, vain-glory, and hypocrisy

December 7, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 387
By Venerable Louis of Granada

In a work which some attribute to St. Augustine and others to St. Leo we find similar remedies which are equally efficacious. The author shows us on one side the allurements with which each vice solicits us, and on the other the arguments with which we must resist it.

Pride is the first to address us, in the following deceitful language: You certainly excel others in learning, eloquence, wealth, rank, and many other things. Being so superior, therefore, you have every reason to look down upon them.

Humility answers: Remember that you are but dust and ashes, destined, as rottenness and corruption, to become the food of worms; and were you all that you imagine, the greater your dignity the greater should be your humility if you would escape a miserable fall.

Does your power equal that of the Angels who fell? Do you shine upon earth as Lucifer shone in Heaven? If pride thrust him from such a height of glory to such an abyss of misery, how can you, a slave to the same pride, expect to rise from your wretchedness to the honor from which he fell?

Vain-glory speaks thus: Yes, do all the good you can, but publish it, so that the world may regard you as a man of great virtue and treat you with consideration and respect.

Fear of God answers: It is great folly to devote to the acquisition of temporal renown that which can obtain for you eternal glory. Endeavor to hide your good actions, and if they appear in spite of your efforts to conceal them it will not be accounted vanity in you when you have no desire to display them.

Hypocrisy counsels: Assume the good qualities you do not possess, and make men think you better than you are, that you may not excite their contempt.

Sincerity answers: It is better to be virtuous than to try to appear so. By attempting to deceive others you will only cause your own ruin.

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