Saint Ephraim the Syrian on His Own Sinfulness

St Ephraim the Syrian

St. Ephraim the Syrian

I am worthless, but think much of myself. I lie constantly but get angry with liars. I condemn those who fall, but myself fall constantly. I condemn slanderers and thieves, but am myself both a thief and a slanderer. I walk with bright countenance, although I am altogether impure. In churches and at banquets I always want to take the place of honor. I see hermits and act dignified; I see monks and I become pompous.  I strive to appear pleasing to women, dignified to strangers, intelligent and reasonable to my neighbors, superior to intellectuals. I do not want to know those who are higher than I, and I scorn those who are lower. If I refrain from eating, I drown in pride and arrogance. If I am wakeful in prayer, I am vanquished by irritability and wrath. To all appearances I am wise in humility, but in my soul I am haughty. I seem not to be acquisitive, but in reality I suffer from a mania for possessions. I appear to have forsaken the world, but in fact I still think about worldly things all the time. Such is my life! With what vileness do I obstruct my own salvation!

* Ramblings of a Redneck Priest


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