Wednesday, August 6, 2014

QUOTATION: False Pride in Suffering

Do not be like those proud and self-conceited church- goers, imagining that your crosses are heavy, that they are proofs of your fidelity and marks of God's exceptional love for you. This temptation, arising from spiritual pride, is most deceptive, subtle and full of poison. You must believe (1) that your pride and sensitiveness make you magnify splinters into planks, scratches into wounds, molehills into mountains, a passing word meaning nothing into an outrageous insult or a cruel slight; (2) that the crosses God sends you are loving punishments for your sins rather than marks of God's special favour; (3) that whatever cross or humiliation he sends you is exceedingly light in comparison with the number and the greatness of your offences, for you should consider your sins in the light of God's holiness, who can tolerate nothing that is defiled, and against whom you have set yourself; in the light of a God suffering death while overwhelmed with sorrow at the sight of your sins; in the light of an everlasting hell which you have deserved time and again; (4) that the patience with which you bear your sufferings is tinged more than you think with natural and human motives. Witness those little ways of looking after yourself, that unobtrusive seeking for sympathy, those confidences you make in such a natural way to your friends, and perhaps to your spiritual director, those specious excuses you are so ready with, those complaints, or rather criticisms of those who have done you an injury, expressed in such pleasant words and charitable manner, that keen satisfaction you feel on considering your troubles, that self-complacency of Lucifer which makes you imagine you are somebody, and so on. I should never finish if I were to describe here all the twists and turns of human nature, even in suffering.

--St. Louis de Montfort, Letter to the Friends of the Cross