Whether we like it or not, our spiritual pride can often get in the way of true holiness.
In an age of overwhelming individualism and in a culture the promotes self-reliance, its tempting to transfer these principles into the spiritual life. It doesn’t take long for us to think that we can be a saint on our own and that we are the ones who know what is best.
Unfortunately, what often happens is that we refuse to accept any help or advice from another person, even our own parish priest. We try to live out Christianity on our own terms and are proud of our personal interpretation of the spiritual life.
This can quickly turn into a spiritual pride, where we isolate ourselves from others. It can have grave consequences, as St. John of the Cross explains in his Sayings of Light and Love.
The virtuous soul that is alone and without a master is like a lone burning coal; it will grow colder rather than hotter.Those who fall alone remain alone in their fall, and they value their soul little since they entrust it to themselves alone.If you do not fear falling alone, do you presume that you will rise up alone? Consider how much more can be accomplished by two together than by one alone.The blind person who falls will not be able to get up alone.
None of the saints was able to achieve holiness by themselves. Even the greatest mystics of the Church needed a spiritual director to help them sort through the many visions they had.
One could even argue that Jesus could not have ascended Mount Calvary without the aid of Simon of Cyrene, who shared the weight of the cross.
Humility is one of the chief virtues of being a saint, and it requires a great deal of humility to allow another person to give insight into your own spiritual life.
If you want to progress in the spiritual life, admit to yourself that you don’t have all the answers and that someone else is holier than you. Once you do that, you are on the right path.
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