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Saturday, February 18, 2012

How to Avoid the Dangers of Vanity and Self-seeking

By Fr. Leonce de Grandmaison

If we make self-forgetfulness the basis of the life of love of neighbor, the result is joy, common good feeling, tender charity, a limpid and shining atmosphere like that of a beautiful summer evening. In short, it is one of the principal strengths and joys of an apostle’s life. Why? Because when we forget ourselves, the qualities, virtues, talents and aptitudes needed to fashion and enrich life in common can develop and grow. A true family can unfold, free of defects and exclusivism.

Self-forgetfulness suppresses almost automatically, if we dare say so, the dangers of vanity and self-seeking. The barriers erected between individuals by timidity, differences in tastes, education and aptitudes are overcome or at least greatly reduced, leaving only what is needed to assure the variety and richness of life in common. When these forces, that have been purified and liberated by self-forgetfulness within the individual, are given free play, the joys of the common life reach their height. Then all live for each one, and each one lives for the others.

Self-forgetfulness likewise liberates the supernatural and apostolic spirit, enabling it to make rapid progress. Because when egoism is vanquished, unity of intention and spirit reign. And all the fruits of the Holy Spirit – “charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, modesty, continency” (Galatians 5:22) – can ripen and scent the air.
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