Elder St Porphyrios on Blaming Ourselves
Christ gives everything. We must all be humble: in thought, in word and in behaviour. We will never go before God and say, ‘I have virtues.’ God does not want our virtues. Always appear before God as a sinner, not with despair, but ‘trusting in the mercy of His compassion’. Suffice it that we find the secret. The secret is love for Christ and humility. Christ will give us the humility. We with our weaknesses are unable to love Him. Let Him love us. Let us entreat Him earnestly to love us and to give us the zeal for us to love Him too.
If you want to philosophize about it, place all blame on your evil self and you will be humbled continually. It is humility to believe that all people are good, and if you hear something negative about someone, not to believe it; to love everyone and not think badly of anyone and to prav for everyone. No other philosophy is needed. The heart of a vain person cannot be humbled. When he is corrected or rebuked, he reacts angrily, and when he is praised and flattered he behaves unbecomingly. Whatever you say to him, he takes in such a way as to become even more swollen with pride. His whole world centers on himself. On the contrary, the sinner who repents and makes confession transcends himself. When he has made confession, he does not turn back.
The vain person alienates his soul from eternal life. In the final analysis, conceit is straightforward stupidity! Vanity makes us void and empty. When we do something for show, we end up empty in soul. What we do, we should do as thanksgiving to God — selflessly, without vanity, without pride, without egotism, without, without, without… Be like a singer in a church or monastery who sings to God with an angelic voice, but without being aware of all the people who are listening to him, that is, without giving it any thought. Is it possible? It’s not easy. It’s difficult And that’s why many singers have been led astray.
– Wounded by Love