Thursday, March 21, 2013


Now so is the progress of men, as we see the growths of trees to be. For the essence of the future tree is first in the seed, afterwards in the springing, and at last it is carried out into boughs. Thus then, surely the goodness of every one doing works grows up. For it is sown in understanding, it springs up in practising, and at last it is consolidated to the full width of great advancement. But when his understanding uplifts any one, the tree that might have sprung up rots in the seed. And when after good practice he is spoilt by the bane of self-exaltation, it is as if, having already sprung up, it withered. But when neither understanding nor practice corrupt, but its greatness growing up, when the applause of persons commending follows, and overturns from its seat the mind of him that doeth rightly, the tree has encountered the winds of the tongues, and all that had grown up strong in it, the tempest of fame has plucked up by the roots. For in proportion as the tree has risen higher to the regions above, forcibly does it feel the violence of the winds; because the more a man is lifted to a height in good practices, with so much the greater blast is he oppressed by the mouth of those that praise him. Therefore if the tree is still in the seed, there is need to fear lest it should be made rotten by the mere acquaintance with knowledge; if it has now already issued into a shoot, we have to be on our guard that the hand of self-exaltation touch it not, and parch it of the greenness of its conduct; but if it already lifts itself up on high with vigorous strength, it is very greatly to be dreaded lest the over strong wind of praise that is applied pluck it up from the roots.

St. Gregory the Great, Moralia, Book XXII, section 16

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.