Wednesday, May 13, 2015

St. Porphyrios on Egotism and Raising Children

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (source)
"The truth of Christ stresses that, if you praise a person, you make him an egotist. The egotist is burdened, and is guided by the devil and the evil spirit. Thus, growing up in the midst of egotism, the first act is to deny God and to be an egotistical misfit in society..."

"When, therefore, we praise the child we create this 'super-ego', we choke him with egotism, and we cause a great evil. We make him more susceptible to diabolic things..."

"In all things, we should teach children to seek the help of God...To the child you shouldn't say: 'You did it, you are the most impressive, you are young, you are brave, you are perfect!...' The child is not helped by this. You can, however, tell him to pray. Tell him: 'My child, the gifts that you have, God gave to you. Pray that God gives you His grace.' This is the perfect [way]..."

"You should tell the truth, so that the person can learn. Otherwise, you support them in their ignorance. When you tell someone else the truth, this instructs them, he pays attention, and when he hears it from others, it is strengthened. Thus, you should tell the child the truth, you should scold him, saying that that which you are doing is not good. What does the wise Solomon say? 'He who spares the rod, hates his son, but he who loves him will carefully chasten him.' However, you are not to flog him with the stick. Then we go outside the boundaries and the opposite occurs..."

"Parents are responsible first for the failures of children in life, and teachers afterwards. They praise them constantly. They speak to them with egotistical words. They don't offer the Spirit of God, they estrange them from the Church. When the children get a little older and go to school with this egotism, they flee from religion and despise it, loosing their reverence towards God, towards their parents, towards everyone. They become untamed and harsh and apathetical, without honoring religion nor God. We release egotists into life and not Christians..."

"The devil has managed to remove himself from people [directly]. and to use other names. Doctors and psychologists say continuously that a person is suffering: 'Ah, you have neuroses! Ahh, you have anxiety!', and the like. They don't accept that the devil stimulates and excites egotism within man. And where there is the devil, there is the evil spirit...The first people, Adam and Eve, were simple and humble, and because of this they lived in Paradise. They did not have egotism...After...the devil managed to praise them and delude them. He filled them with egotism..."

"Praise makes man deaf and drives out the grace of God..."

"The grace of God comes only with holy humility..."

"We must teach children to live humbly and simply, and to not seek praise and a 'bravo'. We should teach them that humility exists, which is the health of life..."
(amateur translation of text from source)
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly the Lord is risen!

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