On Being Puffed Up

St. Neilos the Wise died ca. 430

You wax haughty over your reading of the Scriptures, and you boast, being puffed up over your theoretical attainments, delighting in the possession of bare leaves instead of fruit, and you sneer at those who lack such knowledge. This is something that even actors are often capable of doing. But seek instead to beautify and adorn your soul with works pleasing to God. For “Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees,” it is said, “who pretend that they are learned in the blessed words, for they say good things, but do not do them” (cf. St. Matthew 23:2-3). First, therefore, do, and after this, teach. (Epistle I.83)

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