Every lent for me seems to bring a spiritual struggle to face the reality of myself and the ugliness of pride. We see the effects of pride all around us, the way our own words can puff us up, tear others down, and leave us far from the path to salvation. As I read Elder Sophrony's spiritual autobiography, We Shall Se Him as He Is, I keep coming across unbelievably powerful passages that speak to my pride. As you struggle this lent, please consider the following words of this great Elder. May your lent be one of repentence and humility.
"The struggle to cast 'cast off the works of darkness, and ... put on the armour of light' [Romans 13:12] is a painful one. The age old experience of holy ascetics demonstrates irrefutably that pride is the principle obstacle to enlightenment by the Holy Spirit....Pride is abomination, the opposite of Divine goodness. Pride is the principle of evil, the root of all tragedy, the sower of enmity, the destroyer of peace, the adversary of divinely established order. In pride lies the essence of hell.
Pride is the 'outer darkness' where man loses contact with the God of love. 'Men loved darkness' [John 3:19]. Repentence alone can deliver us from this hell."
Elder Sophrony, We Shall See Him as He Is