Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: Abba Isidore the Priest


(Abba Isidore the priest) said, 'If you fast regularly, do not be inflated with pride, but if you think highly of yourself because of it, then you had better eat meat. It is better for a man to eat meat than to be inflated with pride and to glorify himself.'

Some thoughts:

Abba Isidore the priest and the Abba Isidore we just read think alike. The latter Isidore wrote "He also said, 'The heights of humility are great and so are the depths of boasting; I advise you to attend to the first and not to fall into the second.'"

How easy it is to fall into these traps. The last 20 or so years we have all been busy recovering our self-esteem and sometimes I think we've gone too far with that. How to find the balance is tricky. To really badly paraphrase C S Lewis, true humility is accepting what you are good at, not pretending to be bad at it and not pretending to better at it than you are.


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