Self-Importance

St. Basil the Great, in letter 156, responds to a priest asking for advice and help to resolve a conflict between two parties—we don’t know whom or what the parties are.  St. Basil is asked to intervene in person, or at least by a letter.  St. Basil’s response to this priest instructs us on the spiritual disease of self-importance (which is what some Fathers refer to as self-esteem).   Self-importance is a tricky…

Overcoming Temptations Through Low Expectations

St. Isaac the Syrian in his seventy-second homily tells us, “As soon as Grace sees that a little self-esteem has begun to steal into a man’s thoughts, and that he has begun to think great things of himself, She [Grace] immediately permits the temptations opposing him to gain in strength and prevail, until he learns his weakness…and seeks refuge with God in humility.” Our problem that we need to be saved from…