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Parable of the Day: How Pride Leads Us to Insanity


The first stage of pride is when one rebukes his brother, when he condemns and smears him as an unworthy being, and considers himself to be superior. If such a proud man does not come to his senses and does not correct himself, he will gradually fall prey to the second stage of pride and start feeling superior to God and start attributing his feats and virtues to himself and not God, as if it was him who achieved them using his own reason and diligence instead of God’s help.

Indeed, my brethren, I know a man who eventually became pathetic. First, when a brother would tell him about anything, he would humiliate everyone and contradict, saying, “What’s that brother really worth? There is no one that deserves fame except for Zosimas and the like.” Later, he started belittling Zosimas, saying, “There is no one that deserves fame except Macarius.” A little bit later, he started saying, “Who’s Macarius? There is no one who deserves fame except Basil and Gregory.” Soon enough, he started diminishing those fathers, too. He said, “Who is Basil? Who is Gregory? I don’t know anyone worth admiration except Peter and Paul!” I remarked, “Look, brother, soon you will belittle the two apostles, too!” Believe it or not, soon he started saying, “Who’s Peter? Who’s Paul? No one is really worth anything except for the Holy Trinity.” Finally, he started criticizing the Lord and went insane.

This is why, my dear brethren, we should work hard to get rid of the first stage of pride so as not to fall into the second stage of pride, i.e., complete pride.

Abba Dorotheus, Homily 2
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds

CONVERSATION

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