Saint Theophan the Recluse. "Thoughts for Each Day of the Year".
[Gal. 2:6-10; Mark 5:22-24, 35-6:1] Having resurrected the daughter of Jairus, the Lord charged her parents straitly, that no man should know it. Thus are we commanded: do not seek glory, and do not train your ear for human praises, even if your deeds are of such a nature that it is impossible to hide them. Do what the fear of God and your conscience urge you to do, and behave as though such talk did not exist. Look after your soul—as soon as it inclines the slightest degree in this direction, return it to its place. A desire for people to know is provoked by a desire for praise. When there is praise the goal is achieved; but this undermines one’s energy and suppresses the praiseworthy activity, and consequently suppresses the continuation of praise. Thus, one who wants people to know of his good deeds is his own betrayer. It is a good thing for people to praise what is good—for why wouldn’t someone praise what is good? But do not keep this in your thoughts; do not expect it and do not seek it. Indulge yourself in this and you will be totally spoiled. One indulgence leads to another. Increasing the frequency of the same deeds turns them into a habit, and you will be a lover of praise. When you come to that point, then not all of your deeds will be praiseworthy, and praise will cease. Because you lack praise from others, you will begin to praise yourself, and this is what the Lord called sounding a trumpet before oneself. This is even worse. The soul then becomes petty, and chases solely after tinsel. Do not expect true good to come from such a soul.
KJV Dictionary Definition: Vainglorious
VAINGLO'RIOUS, a. vain and glorious.
1. Vain to excess of one's own achievements; elated beyond due measure; boastful.
2. Boastful; proceeding from vanity.
Arrogant and vainglorious expression.
VAINGLO'RIOUSLY, adv. With empty pride.
VAINGLO'RY, n. vain and glory. Exclusive vanity excited by one's own performances; empty pride; undue elation of mind.
He hath nothing of vainglory.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory. Phil. 2.
Saint John Climacus. "The Ladder of Divine Ascent". Step 22.
Some would hold that vainglory is to be distinguished from pride, and so they give it a special place and chapter. Hence their claim that there are eight deadly sins. But against this is the view of Gregory the Theologian and other teachers that in fact the number is seven. I also hold this view. After all, what pride remains in a man who has conquered vainglory? The difference is between a child and a man, between wheat and bread, for the first is a beginning and the second an end. Therefore, as the occasion demands, let us talk about the unholy vice of self-esteem, the beginning and completion of the passions; and let us talk briefly, for to undertake an exhaustive discussion would be to act like someone who inquires into the weight of the winds.
From the point of view of form, vainglory is a change of nature, a perversion of character, a taking note of criticism." As for its quality, it is a waste of work and sweat, a betrayal of treasure, an offspring of unbelief, a harbinger of pride, shipwreck in port, the ant on the threshing floor, small and yet with designs on all the fruit of one's labor. The ant waits until the wheat is in, vainglory until the riches of excellence are gathered; the one a thief, the other a wastrel.
The spirit of despair exults at the sight of mounting vice, the spirit of vainglory at the sight of the growing treasures of virtue. The door for the one is a mass of wounds, while the gateway for the other is the wealth of hard work done.
Watch vainglory. Notice how, until the very day of the burial it rejoices in clothes, oils, servants, perfumes, and such like.
Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers on Vainglory
...as soon as a man understands and truly feels his weakness, he immediately puts a restraint on the vain pride of his soul which obscures reason, and thus he gains protection... The Monks Callistus and Ignatius (Directions to Hesychasts no. 16i, Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart; Faber and Faber pg. 187-188)
Abba Nisterus the Great was walking in the desert with a brother. They saw a dragon and they ran away. The brother said to him, "Were you frightened too, Father?" The old man said to him, "I am not afraid, my child, but it is better for me to flee, so as not to have to flee from the spirit of vainglory." Sr. Benedicta Ward, "The Sayings of the Desert Fathers," (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1975), pp. 153-155
All who ask and do not obtain their requests from God, are denied for one of the following reasons; because they ask at the wrong time, or because they ask unworthily and vaingloriously, or because if they received they would become conceited, or finally because they would become negligent after obtaining their request. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step26: On Discernment of Thoughts, Passions and Virtue
Saint John Cassian. "Institutes".
OF THE SPIRIT OF VAINGLORY.
How our seventh combat is against the spirit of vainglory, and what its nature is.
OUR seventh combat is against the spirit of kenodoxia, which we may term vain or idle glory: a spirit that takes many shapes, and is changeable and subtle, so that it can with difficulty, I will not say be guarded against, but be seen through and discovered even by the keenest eyes.
How vainglory attacks a monk not only on his carnal, but also on his spiritual side.
FOR not only does this, like the rest of his faults, attack a monk on his carnal side, but on his spiritual side as well, insinuating itself by craft and guile into his mind: so that those who cannot be deceived by carnal vices are more grievously wounded through their spiritual proficiency; and it is so much the worse to fight against, as it is harder to guard against. For the attack of all other vices is more open and straightforward, and in the case of each of them, when he who stirs them up is met by a determined refusal, he will go away the weaker for it, and the adversary who has been beaten will on the next occasion attack his victim with less vigour. But this malady when it has attacked the mind by means of carnal pride, and has been repulsed by the shield of reply, again, like some wickedness that takes many shapes, changes its former guise and character, and under the appearance of the virtues tries to strike down and destroy its conqueror.