The Gospel of the day (Matthew 23, 23-28)

Jesus reprimands the Pharisees

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Spiritual pride

Saint John Cassian, The Monachal establishments, The 12th book, Cap. 24-27, in Church Fathers and Writers (1990), vol. 57, p. 260

`This type of pride (spiritual pride) is not known and practiced by many, as not so many endeavour to reach a perfect purity of the heart to be possible to reach the level of such struggles(…) Spiritual pride generally attacks only those who overcoming the vices from before are now standing near the heights of virtues. As the cunning enemy – could not enslave them by the sin of the flesh – tries to strike them down spiritually. By means of this pride it deprives them of all the merits of their works from before, won with great toil. But in what regards us who are still possessed by earthly passions are not considered worthy to face such temptations, but we are overcome by a more rough pride, that of the flesh (…)

This pride usually challenges especially us or those who are at our measures and especially the minds of the young and of the beginners. Thus this pride of the flesh I mentioned installs in the mind of a monk who embraced monasticism without warmth and wrongly guided. This does not let him descend from the worldly pride from before to the real humbleness of Christ and therefore it makes him first disobedient and tough forbidding him soon any feeling of gentleness and humanity and not allowing him to be equal with his brothers, he doesn`t agree to be deprived of the earthly goods following the command of our Lord and Saviour (Matthew 19, 21) With his mind darkened by such passions after a beginning of a detestable coldness of his soul he is to fall day by day to an even worse state and to spend the rest of his life covered by shame.

As long as he feels attracted by the passions from before and is fond of the damned love for money according to the Word of the Apostle who says about it: the love for money is worshiping idols (Collossians 3,5) he will never be able to receive in his heart the simple true humbleness of Christ.`


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The Gospel of the day (Matthew 23, 29-39)

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