Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 36

75. He who cultivates the virtues for the sake of self-esteem also seeks after spiritual knowledge for the same reason. Such a man plainly does not do anything or discuss anything for the edification of others. On the contrary, he always seeks the praise of those who see him or hear him. His passion is brought to light when some of these people censure his actions or words. This distresses him greatly, not because he has failed to edify them – for that was not his aim – but because he has been humiliated.

I wonder how often the above could be written today about those who blog their faith — even if only in part? Hopefully I don’t fall within the group St. Maximos describes. I don’t believe I do. I don’t tend to be distressed when people disagree or otherwise don’t like something I’ve written, though I do sometimes wonder if there’s a way I could better express what I’ve attempted to say. But I’m always aware that it’s hard to perceive all your own motivations. Many things drive us and we often do not see deeply into that ocean.

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