In whatever you do for a
fellow-servant, remember that your Master has done before. Listen
and shudder. Never be pleased by your humility. . .perhaps you laugh
at that statement, as if humility could puff you up. But don't be
surprised if it puffs you up when it isn't genuine. How and in what
way could it do this? When it is practiced to gain human favor and
not God's favor. When it is practiced so that we could be praised
and be considered great. For this is of the devil.
Those who boast because they aren't
boastful please themselves by their humility and high regard. Have
you done any act out of humility? Don't be proud of it, otherwise
all its merit is lost.
The Pharisee was like this. He was
puffed up because he gave his tithes to the poor, and, as a result,
he lost the honor of the deed. But not so with the tax collector.
Nor with Paul who said, "I know nothing by myself, yet am I not
hereby justified." But in every way lowers and humbles himself,
even when he had arrived at the summit.
When you think about admiring
yourself because you are humble, consider your Master. Remember what
He descended into and you won't admire or praise yourself anymore.
St. John Chrysostom