Humility, truth and vines

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Humility is the acceptance of the true spiritual order. It teaches the branch to abide in the vine. It restores the disordered hierarchy in the heart by replacing God upon His throne there.

Humility is simply truth, and independence is nothing but a lie, honouring the branch above the vine, the member above the body, and the creature above the Creator — calling a stream the fountain, and a planet the sun.

–Thomas Erskine
Unconditional Freeness of the Gospel

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Books, vanity and glory

old-books-sonsoles

Vanity is so anchored in the heart of man that . . . those who write against it want to have the glory of having written well; and those who read it desire the glory of having read it.

–Blaise Pascal
(1623-1662)

Published in: on 04/12/2014 at 10:53  Leave a Comment  
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The pride of faith

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There is a pride of faith, more unforgivable and dangerous than the pride of the intellect. It reveals a split personality in which faith is “observed” and appraised, thus negating that unity born of a dying-unto-self, which is the definition of faith. To “value” faith is to turn it into a metaphysical magic, the advantages of which ought to be reserved for a spiritual elite.

–Dag Hammarskjold
(1905-1961)

Published in: on 04/11/2014 at 0:24  Leave a Comment  
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Pride slays gratitude

Arrogance 4

A proud man is
seldom a grateful man,
for he never thinks he gets
as much as he deserves.

–Henry Ward Beecher
(1813 – 1887)

Published in: on 11/05/2013 at 1:26  Leave a Comment  
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Loved on the basis of grace

If God finds incentives for grace within himself,
then nothing in us can disqualify us from his grace –
nothing except a proud unwillingness
to be loved on terms of grace alone.

–Ray Ortland

Eternal childhood

Perhaps this will be one of the supreme tests: would we choose the childlikeness of Heaven or the promise of “maturity”, of “humanity come of age” in Hell? Will we suffer gladly the blow and shock to our pride that is Heaven’s gift of eternal childhood (thus eternal hope and progress) or will we insist on the “successes” of “self-actualization” that Heaven denies us and Hell offers us? If the latter, we will find despair instead of hope, ennui [boredom] instead of creative work, and the emptying out of all our joy.

Jesus’ teaching, “Unless you turn
and become like children, you will
never enter the kingdom of Heaven”,
is not something to be outgrown.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, when asked which are the four most important virtues, replied, “Humility, humility, humility, and humility.”

–Peter Kreeft

The main source of mischief

Spiritual pride is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christianity.  It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit, to darken the mind and mislead the judgment.  It is the main source of all the mischief the devil introduces, to clog and hinder a work of God.

Spiritual pride tends to speak
of other persons’ sins
with bitterness or with laughter
and levity and an air of contempt.

But pure Christian humility rather tends either to be silent about these problems or to speak of them with grief and pity.  Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others, but a humble Christian is most guarded about himself.  He is as suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart.  The proud person is apt to find fault with other believers, that they are low in grace, and to be much in observing how cold and dead they are and to be quick to note their deficiencies.  But the humble Christian has so much to do at home and sees so much evil in his own heart and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.  He is apt to esteem others better than himself.

–Jonathan Edwards
(1703-1758)

A Judge of Truth

Whoever undertakes
to set himself up as a judge
of Truth and Knowledge
is shipwrecked by
the laughter of the gods.

–Albert Einstein

Published in: on 05/16/2011 at 12:32  Leave a Comment  
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