THOSE LEARNED IN SCRIPTURES
BUT ARE NOT HUMBLE IN PREACHING
Those who have a speck of
understanding of Scriptures are warned that, in dealing with divine
words, they must first look unto themselves before looking at others;
that, in teaching others, they don't forget that Scriptures is against
the proud. Indeed, he is a poor and unskilled physician who aims at
healing others but is ignorant of his own ailment.
He who speaks without
humility is one who heals others but fails to see his own infections;
in attempting to heal others he, himself, dies.
The way you speak of
divine things must conform with the excellence of what is said; never
say one thing in words and another thing by your outward conduct. Why
do you, who speak words not your own, swell with pride as if the words
were your own?
He who speaks from God and
before God must do so only to please God. "Every proud man is an
abomination to the Lord," for he seeks his own glory from the
Word of God; he invades the right of the Giver and does not fear at
all to prefer his own praise to Him from whom he has received the very
thing for which he is praised.
A humble preacher listens
first to the things he has to say. Then, he must drink from his own
cistern, i.e. practice what he will say before conveying the fountains
abroad, i.e. sharing his teachings to others. To convey the fountains
abroad is to perform the external act of instilling in others the
force of his preaching. But, beware, because pride easily enters
through this act of spreading the Word.
In the ministry of the
Word, never allow pride to be your partner; never preach to win the
praises of men.
St. Gregory the Great: Pastoral
Care, Chapter 24, Part III