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Coptic Orthodox Church
Sayings of The Fathers on overcoming pride?
edited December 1969
does anyone have any Sayings of The Fathers on overcoming pride? Thanks
"Let us humble ourselves and the Spirit of God Himself will instruct the soul."
-Saint Silouan the Athonite
-My FOC advised me not to forget my sins; pride can sometimes give us a false sense of near-perfection. Remembering your sins helps uncover your flaws.
-I remember in Release of the Spirit, H.H. used the example of the moon. The moon gives us light in the light, yet it is not bright of its own, but rather, it reflects the light of the sun. Remember that this is what we are - no matter what greatness you achieve, you are like the moon. Everything in you comes from the True Light.
"A Man who wants to progress spiritually asks God to give him love, prayer, obedience and all virtues. We should be aware that God will not give us what we are asking for, no matter how hard we try, unless we humble ourselves. If our only aim is humility, then God will give us everything for free.
God wants and desires only one thing from us: our humility. He does not need anything else; just to humble ourselves, so He can actually make us partakers of His divine grace, which was granted to us through the mystery of Holy Baptism. Although we did not love Him yet, neither had we struggled to acquire His grace, He gave it to us as a gift out of His extreme kindness. He is only asking from us to humble ourselves and respond out of gratefulness and appreciation to His love. Thus, divine grace, which abides in us, will be activated and function accordingly. It will make us love God and get to know Him; it will do everything for us, if we only humble ourselves and allow for it to act. The only obstacle to the energy of God’s grace is our pride, our lack of humility." (
God loves man very much; He knows very well the problems of each one of us, and wishes to help us before we ask Him to do so. Since God is omnipotent, there are no difficulties which He cannot overcome, except one.
The difficulty God faces, and I repeat, it is the only one, is that He “cannot” help us when our soul is not humble. God “feels sad” because, while He sees His creature suffer, He “cannot” offer any help. Whatever help He offers, it will harm the person because he lacks a humble mindset.
"Whatever happens to man, depends absolutely on his humbleness. For instance, we see a man striving and finally being subdued by one of his passions. God allows this to happen for only one reason: because his soul is filled with conceited thoughts and pride. Perhaps this man hates this specific passion and fights really hard to get rid of it. He will not achieve anything, however, because God does not help him; and He will not help him unless he humbles himself. Although he hates this specific passion, he is subdued by pride, which is the passion that introduces man to all other passions. “Pride is the cause of every passion,” (
St. John of the Ladder
When God sees that we are proud and arrogant, He allows for the presence of temptations in our life. He will take them away from us, only when He sees that we humble ourselves.
"Learn to love humility, for it will cover all you sins. All sins are repulsive before God, but the most repulsive of all is pride of the heart. Do not consider yourself learned and wise; otherwise, all your effort will be destroyed, and your boat will reach the harbor empty. If you have great authority, do not threaten anyone with death. Know that, according to nature, you too are susceptible to death, and that every soul sheds its body as its final garment." (
St.Anthony the Great
"Recollect the fall of the strong, that thou mayest remain humble under thy virtues. And think of the heavy sins of those who fell and repented; and of the praise and honour they received afterwards, so that thou mayest acquire courage during thy repentance."
"Love humility in thy dealings, that thou mayest be freed from the imperceivable snares which are continually to be found by the side of the paths on which the humble walk."
"Flee from praise, then thou wilt be praised. Fear haughtiness, then thou wilt be exalted. For pride was not assigned to the children of man, nor haughtiness of heart to those born from a woman."
St. Isaac the Syrian