Archimandrite Sofronii. "Saint Silouan, the Athonite".
'The enemy fell through pride.' Pride is the source of sin, comprising every aspect that evil can assume - conceit, ambition, indifference, cruelty, disregard of the suffering of others; day-dreaming, over-fantasising, a demented expression in the eye, in every other feature; gloom, melancholy, despair, animosity; envy, an inferiority complex, carnal desires; wearisome psychological disturbance, rebellious feelings, fear of death or, on the contrary, wanting to put an end to life; and, lastly and not seldom, utter madness.
These are the indications of demonic spirituality. But until they show up clearly, they pass unnoticed for many.
It does not need all these symptoms to denote someone who has let himself be seduced by satanic thoughts or visions or revelations. In some people megalomania predominates, or ambition. With others, nostalgia, despair, hidden anxiety. In still others, it is envy, gloom, hatred. With many it is the desires of the flesh. But they all suffer from unbridled imagination and pride — masked, maybe, by an air of false humility.
Holman Bible Dictionary: Pride
Undue confidence in and attention to one's own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, or position. Pride is easier to recognize than to define, easier to recognize in others than in oneself. Many biblical words describe this concept, each with its own emphasis. Some of the synonyms for pride include arrogance, presumption, conceit, self-satisfaction, boasting, and high-mindedness. It is the opposite of humility, the proper attitude one should have in relation to God. Pride is rebellion against God because it attributes to self the honor and glory due to God alone. Proud persons do not think it necessary to ask forgiveness because they do not admit their sinful condition. This attitude toward God finds expression in one's attitude toward others, often causing people to have a low estimate of the ability and worth of others and therefore to treat them with either contempt or cruelty. Some have considered pride to be the root and essence of sin. Others consider it to be sin in its final form. In either case, it is a grievous sin.
“Boasting” can be committed only in the presence of other persons (1 John 2:16; James 4:16). “Haughtiness” or “arrogance” measures self as above others (Mark 7:23; Luke 1:51; Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). This word refers primarily to the attitude of one's heart. 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 Timothy 6:4; and 2 Timothy 3:4 use a word literally meaning “to wrap in smoke.” It emphasizes the plight of the one who has been blinded by personal pride.
Pride may appear in many forms. Some of the more common are pride of race, spiritual pride, and pride of riches. Jesus denounced pride of race (Luke 3:8). The parable of the Pharisee and the publican was directed at those guilty of spiritual pride, the ones who “trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others” (Luke 18:9). James 1:10 warns the rich against the temptation to be lifted up with pride because of their wealth.
Saint John Climacus. "The Ladder of Divine Ascent". Step 23.
Pride is a denial of God, an invention of the devil, contempt for men. It is the mother of condemnation, the offspring of praise, a sign of barrenness. It is a flight from God's help, the harbinger of madness, the author of downfall. It is the cause of diabolical possession, the source of anger, the gateway of hypocrisy. It is the fortress of demons, the custodian of sins, the source of hardheartedness. It is the denial of compassion, a bitter pharisee, a cruel judge. It is the foe of God, It is the root of blasphemy.
Pride begins where vainglory leaves off. Its midpoint comes with the humiliation of our neighbor, the shameless parading of our achievements, complacency, and unwillingness to be found out. It ends with the spurning of God's help, the exalting of one's own efforts and a devilish disposition.
Listen, therefore, all who wish to avoid this pit. This passion often draws strength initially from the giving of thanks, and at first it does not shamelessly urge us to renounce God. I have seen people who speak aloud their thanks to God but who in their hearts are glоrifying themselves, something demonstrated by that Pharisee with his "O God, I thank You" (Luke 18:11).
Pride takes up residence wherever we have lapsed, for a lapse is in fact an indication of pride. And an admirable man said once to me: "Think of a dozen shameful passions. Love one of them, I mean pride, and it will take up the space of all the other eleven."
A proud monk argues bitterly with others. The humble monk is loath to contradict them.
Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers on Pride
Whenever you want to subdue your high and proud thoughts, examine your conscience carefully: Have you kept all the commandments? Have you loved your enemies and been kind to them in their misfortunes? Have you counted yourself to be an unprofitable servant and the worst of all sinners? If you find you have done all this, do not therefore think well of yourself as if you had done everything well but realize that even the thought of such things is totally destructive. Abba Or, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
The chief cause of criticism and slander is pride and egotism, for man thinks himself better [than others]. For this reason it is very beneficial for a person to think of himself as smaller than all, so that he sees the brother as better, in order that he may, with the help of God, be delivered from this evil. Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"
The mercy of God supports all of us, but if we are proud, God will lift off His grace and we will become worse than the others. Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"
...a man who passionately wishes his life, name and works to be rumored in the world commits adultery in the eyes of God just like the old people of Judea..." St, Simeon the New Theologian (Practical and Theological Precepts no. 104, Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart; Faber and Faber pg. 121)
Saint John Cassian. "Institutes".
OF THE SPIRIT OF PRIDE.
How our eighth combat is against the spirit of pride, and of its character.
OUR eighth and last combat is against the spirit of pride, which evil, although it is the latest in our conflict with our faults and stands last on the list, yet in beginning and in the order of time is the first: an evil beast that is most savage and more dreadful than all the former ones, chiefly trying those who are perfect, and devouring with its dreadful bite those who have almost attained the consummation of virtue.
How there are two kinds of pride.
AND of this pride there are two kinds: the one, that by which we said that the best of men and spiritually minded ones were troubled; the other, that which assaults even beginners and carnal persons. And though each kind of pride is excited with regard to both God and man by a dangerous elation, yet that first kind more particularly has to do with God; the second refers especially to men. Of the origin of this last and the remedies for it we will by God's help treat as far as possible in the latter part of this book. We now propose to say a few things about that former kind, by which, as I mentioned before, those who are perfect are especially tried.