The acts of man, because of his fallen nature are motivated by the desire
for human glory and/or abundance of earthly goods. So in the Old
Testament, God often rewarded obedience to His commands with worldly glories
and earthly wealth. "The Lord shall make thee higher than all the
nations who dwell on the face of the earth. The Lord shall make thee
abound in all good things."
Now Christ forbids it.
Heavenly glory and heavenly wealth must be sought in its place.
we seek worldly glory, there is so much ostentation. Among all the
vices of man, the desire for glory is the most dangerous. It torments
more those seeking God rather than those serving the devil.
overcome the desire for glory is easy if no one is offering it to you.
It is almost impossible to resist it when offered.
desire for human glory steals upon the human heart in secret. It needs
great watchfulness to notice it. It is our heart that we must watch,
for this desire is an invisible serpent that secretly destroys everything
good within our hearts.
the heart is pure, the righteous man soon feels that there is a stranger
within, but if the heart is full of wickedness, he does not readily perceive
the suggestion of the devil. So Christ taught us first, be not angry,
lust not, for he who is under the yoke of sin cannot watch over his heart.
saints are safe in performing good works before the eyes of men; because
they would certainly be dong it for God's sake. . .and even receive praise
for doing them. The weak, because they have not developed contempt for
human glory, must hide those good deeds that they do.
If I yet
pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. All beginners in
the spiritual life are in danger of doing good to please men. Only the
saints are able to please men that they may win them for Christ. "I please
men in all things," St. Paul says. But we are no St. Paul.
tendency to do things to please men will always come first whenever we do
good; but let the judgment of the soul raise us up in that we please God
St. Thomas of Aquinas