Don’t Think Highly of Yourself

 

If you are fought by anger, maybe because you were insulted by someone who challenged you to insult back even more fiercely than they did, look down to the ground and remember you were fashioned of it and cast out the anger from your soul.

Thus, by looking at the earth, our mother, and by knowledge we will be able to free ourselves from the struggle with the passions that are so hard to cure.

First it is said simply that “God created man” (Genesis 1, 27) and then it is added how “of the dust of the ground.” So, when you hear about the dust, try to be balanced and not to think highly of yourself.

When you are assaulted by thoughts, raising your heart and boosting the habit of falling into vainglory, or if it happens just by chance, remember about your creation so you may understand that you were fashioned entirely from dust, and you were born from the dust that you step on.

Therefore, even if you do something great or small on earth, don’t forget to remember about your humbleness. If you are fought by anger, maybe because you were insulted by someone who challenged you to insult back even more fiercely than they did, look down to the ground and remember you were fashioned of it and cast out the anger from your soul.

Thus, by looking at the earth, our mother, and knowledge we will be able to free ourselves from the struggle with the passions that are so hard to cure.

(Translation from Sfântul Vasile cel Mare, Omilii la facerea omului; Omilie despre Rai, traducere din limba greacă de Ieromonah Lavrentie Carp, Editura Doxologia, Iași, 2010, pp. 76-78)