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"Self-love and love for God are at polar opposites on the spectrum. Since few of us are entirely free of self-love, we must ask ourselves:"Toward which of these loves am I moving?” We may also be tempted to wonder about others, speculating as to which kind of love is manifested in their lives – in which direction are they moving?” However, we are easily deceived. Many nice people are also very self-serving; they have the outer form of godliness, but choke its roots before they can sink deeply into the heart. There is no objective tests for identifying empty piety. Whenever we assess ourselves and others, we do so from hearts that are not reliable testing instruments. This is why Christ warns us against judging (Mt 7:1)." (Dynamis 2/7/2015)

“We sometimes become so sick with our own self-love that we cannot endure even the slightest contradiction, any spiritual or material obstacle—cannot bear a single harsh word." (St. John of Kronstadt)

"Self-esteem can mean two different things. The first meaning is narcissism. The Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, IV-TR…describes self-esteem as"a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy. . ." The second, used mostly by developmental psychologists, defines self-esteem"as being true to [the] real self…However, we can’t be true to the"real self” by our own efforts. We realize our true self by dying to our own concept of self and growing in Christ.” (Sacramental Living II, Father George Morelli)

“To live up to God's perfection means to die to self. No one wants to die to self. This is a painful process. Yet, that is exactly what we are called to do if we are to be God's children. If we live for self, we can't live for God or for others and serve them as Christ served others. The Fathers of the Eastern Church call this the sin of self-esteem. While healthy self-esteem is important, unhealthy self-centeredness is indeed sinful." (Marianne C. Sailus)

"The struggle against self-love is hard, but everything is accomplished with the grace of God." (Elder Joseph the Hesychast)

#StJohnofKronstadt #MarianneCSailus #ElderJosephtheHesychast #FatherGeorgeMorelli #EucmencialPatriarchBartholomew

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