Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Self Annihilation VI

Scrooge meeting the Ghost of Christmas Past - an appropriate image of annihilation.

Topic - Treatment of contempt and humiliation from others.

"As to what concerns men, I agree that of themselves they have no authority over us, and that any contempt or humiliation or outrage on their part is an injustice. But we have not any the more for that the right to complain of this injustice, because in reality it is not an injustice against us, who are nothing, and to whom nothing is due; but it is an injustice against God, Whose commands they violate when they despise us, or humble us, or outrage us. It is therefore God who should resent the injury they to to Him by ill-treating us; it is not for us to resent it, for in all that happens to us we ought only to feel the injury that is done to God.

My neighbor despises me; he is wrong, because he is of no more importance than I am, and God has forbidden him to despise me. But is he wrong because I am really worthy of esteem, and because there is nothing in me that deserves contempt? No. If he takes away from me my goods, if he blackens my reputation, if he attempts my life, he is guilty, and very guilty, towards God; but is he so towards me? Am I justified in wishing him ill for it, or in seeking revenge? No. Because all that I possess, all that I am, is not properly mine, who have nothing of my own but nothingness, and from whom therefore nothing can be taken away."

~Manual for Interior Souls by Fr. Grou. 3rd Ed. St. Anselm's Society, London. 1905.

Is that not some of the most politically incorrect words you've ever heard? This is simply the antithesis of our "self-esteem", "accolade seeking" culture. Let us strive to live in simple humility and acknowledge God's power over all and our own nothingness. Amen+


Anonymous said...

I am loving these quotes from the Manual for Interior
Souls --this is real spiritual food. One can really meditate on this and make sense of life and through God's grace advance at least a little in the spiritual life instead of preening our ego which is so the way of the world we are in today.

Sanctus Belle said...

Thank you so much for your kind comment. This book can still be purchased through Amazon.com. Its a newer edition of course but the same author/same book.