Vain Self-Complacency

Vain self-complacency and the desire of making a show of being spoken of, of having our conduct praised, and of hearing it said that we succeed well and are doing wonders, — this is an evil which makes us forget God, which infects our holiest actions, and is, of all vices, the most injurious to progress in the spiritual life. -St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul made this resolution to close the path against self-complacency: “When I am performing some public action, and may complete it with honor, I will perform it indeed, but I will omit those details which might give it lustre or attract notice to myself.”

From his earliest years, St. Thomas of Aquin was always opposed to receiving praise, and he never uttered a word which might lead to it. Therefore, he never felt any temptation to vanity or self-complacency, as he himself testified to Brother Reginald, saying he rendered thanks to God that he had never been tempted by pride.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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