August 13, 2011

Retreat Notes: Righteousness and Vainglory

Here is the danger in allowing yourself to be astonished or scandalized by others, or, put better, allowing yourself to consider others unrighteous:

If you indulge the thought that others are unrighteous, conversely it will include within itself your taste for the idea of yourself as righteous. You then risk making this the motivation for your religion: you pray not because of the love of God, but because you want to be able to think of yourself as a righteous person. Thus, your religion becomes vainglorious at best and an idolatry at worst.

Considering others as less righteous leads one to be even less so himself.


Judy Kallmeyer said...

May God grant us the grace to pray because we desire holiness!

Greg said...

Interesting topic. Where do we find the line, however, when we know we are facing a case of evil, a case where harm is coming to others that we must witness?

For example, in scripture we find the many instances of demons being sent away or into the swine and into the lake, and we find instances in which Satan presents inducement for others to turn away from righteousness, in its sound, not prideful, version.

How do we discern when we have encountered that which is truly unrighteous, that which truly stands in opposition to our salvation?

If we so fear being righteous, in its negative connotation, do we also need to fear being unable to discern that which is harmful, destructive, and filled with evil intention?