St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Pride Suffered by Beginners

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church.

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. John of the Cross writes

Even though holiness is in itself humbling, these souls are still imperfect, and so a certain secret pride begins to rise in them. Overly satisfied with themselves and their accomplishments, they develop this vain urge to talk about spiritual things in front of others. Sometimes they presume to teach rather than to learn. In their hearts, they condemn those whose devotion they deem less than adequate; they may even say so loud. They act like the Pharisee who put down the publican while bragging about himself and praising God for his own good works. (37)

And:

Sometimes these beginners grow so wicked that they want no one else but themselves to look good. And so they condemn others at every opportunity. They behold the mote in their brother’s eye and never notice the log in their own. They reach for another’s gnat and swallow their own camel. (38)

Sound like anyone we know?

-St. John of the Cross and Mirabai Starr, translator, Dark Night of the Soul, New York: Riverhead Books, 2002.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s