Keep struggling against vanity; Church Fathers: Day 265

Keep struggling against vanity; Church Fathers: Day 265 April 21, 2018

Vanity, or “vainglory” as old English writers used to call it, is a hard vice to conquer, says St. John Cassian. When you think you’ve beaten it, then you’re proud of your victory—and vanity is back again.

All vices grow feeble when conquered, and when beaten are day by day made weaker, and lessen and subside both in place and time—or at any rate, as they are unlike the opposite virtues, are more easily shunned and avoided.

But vanity, when it is beaten, rises again keener than ever for the struggle. When we think it is destroyed, it revives again, the stronger for its death. The other kinds of vices usually only attack those whom they have overcome in the conflict; but this one pursues its victors only the more keenly; and the more thoroughly it has been resisted, so much the more vigorously does it attack the man who is elated by his victory over it.

Here we see the crafty cunning of our adversary. When he cannot over­come the soldier of Christ by the weapons of the Enemy, he lays him low by his own spear. –St. John Cassian, Institutes, 11.7


What am I proud of ? My intelligence? My social position? Being the sort of person who reads books like this one?

Does my vanity—perhaps unconsciously—affect how I treat other people?


Lord, restrain my thoughts, and do not let them wander among the vanities of this world. Grant that I may be united to you in love, unworthy though I am.
Remember to subscribe to my feed so you will not miss a day! This recurring feature at The Catholic Blogger is possible through the cooperation of author Mike Aquilina and publisher Saint Benedict Press. To get your own copy of this book, click below.

"Regular updates to the countdown to the Day of the Lord by the sign of ..."

The Dangers of the New Age ..."
"Thank you for this wonderful review! I so appreciate your taking the time to post ..."

You CAN share the faith
"You seem to know a lot about the whole Catholic Church!!!!"

Overcome the things that make you ..."
"The opening line "Insults, thefts, even torture—none of these things do any real harm to ..."

This hurts me more than it ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment