Thursday, June 04, 2015

Talking Back

Evagrius Ponticus is one of my favorite desert fathers. He writes about the eight basic temptations (gluttony, greed, sloth, sorrow, lust, anger, vainglory, and pride) and how to combat them using scripture. First Evagrius names the tempting thought and then gives the scripture that combats it.

I've been looking at his scriptures against pride because pride is the one "spirit" that will reintroduce all 7 others, like in Matthew 12:43-45, unless carefully guarded against.

These two have caught my attention:

57. Against the prideful thoughts that look down on one's brothers who commit faults, because of their faults: "Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who have the Spirit should correct that one in a gentle spirit, and keep watch over yourself, so that you also may not fall in temptation."
Galatians 6:1

58. Against the proud thought that exalts me as if I have reached perfection in the practice of the commandments: "It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:12

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