September 18

The demons of pride, self-esteem, desire for popularity, and hypocrisy, never act by trying to dampen the ardor of the virtuous man. Instead, they cunningly reproach him for his shortcomings where the virtues are concerned, and suggest that he intensifies his efforts, encouraging him to give his full attention to them. They do this in order to entice him to give his full attention to them; in this way they make him lose a proper balance and moderation, and lead him imperceptibly to a destination other than the one to which he thought he was going.

Neither do these demons hate self-restraint, fasting, almsgiving, hospitality, the singing of psalms, spiritual reading, stillness, the most sublime doctrines, sleeping on the ground, vigils, or any of the other things which characterize a life lived according to God, so long as the aim and purpose of a person trying to live such a life are tilted in their direction.

~St Maximos the Confessor

2 thoughts on “September 18”

  1. Sometimes seems we can’t win for losing! God have mercy on us! I think that the real spiritual experience comes in the midst of our deepest trials when we feel that we have handled everything so poorly and are in most need of His mercy. There He strips away any facade and spiritual veneer we have crafted and uncovers our true glistening spirit within ; His presence within us unclouded by self-effort and pride.

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