THE Good WOLF
A pastoral study of vindictive arrogance and hypocrisy
THE Shepherd closed a rich feeding ground outside the sheepfold. And so the wolf feeling suddenly frustrated in the execution of his natural talent, humiliated and misunderstood, takes stock of his losses and licking his wounds comes to the shepherd to consolidate his position and make his case.
WOLF: Look, I’ll be honest with you; you and I know about the harsh realities of life that make us watchful. Few are they that have this hard earned knowledge. For as good and virtuous as one may be, your life can still become a living hell, and where is the justice in this? Just take our species for instance, does there exist any other that has been more maligned and misunderstood than ours? I’ll be completely direct with you. OK so I’m a predator, I admit it; I don’t deny it. And do you think its easy being a predator? We have enemies too you know. Our daily life is simply a battle for survival. And only the strongest and toughest can. So forgive me, if I’m simply trying to survive. And if it’s not a sin to survive, then toughness is a virtue.
If you could see the good I’m doing you would work with me. Because it’s common knowledge that predators are a very useful regulating force in all species. It is they that keep a check on excessive population growth (pride), but more importantly, in weeding out and attacking the weaker – i.e. those who not only are not contributing but detracting from the rest - they enable a species to retain a higher living standard. But to be able to understand and believe this one must be above common prejudice and realize its better that the weak be sacrificed, so that the rest can thereby become stronger. My mission ultimately is to benefit not to harm; only weakness harms. This being my nature, I cannot but despise any weakness, whether in myself or in others. My function is the maintenance of strength. Strength is survival; survival is an indication of superior qualities; superior qualities enable one to be of benefit to others. Nevertheless, despite this my high calling and my own generous willingness to serve others, how am I repaid? I devote such a large portion of my time and energies to others who - when its all said and done - are in no way worthy of this, sacrificing my peace of mind and at times risking my life, and what do I get out of it? every kind of abuse. Certainly there are some of us wolves who go too far; who simply want to dominate or use their talents for sport. Since for me my mission is sacred, I could never lower myself to those standards. In fact “I thank God that I am not as the rest” of wolves or - for that matter – sheep; I’m not only different, I’m unique.
I am the good wolf. I know the sheep and they know me. Of course if I said I’d lay down my life for sheep I’d be a hypocrite – the one thing I will never be. (And – by the way - you have other sheep, which are not of this fold; these also you should bring here.) And they shall hear my voice, and they shall become a more decent flock, with you as their one and only shepherd. Moreover, I’ll have you know that the assertion that wolves dress in sheep’s clothing was invented essentially to harm sheep – since they need us – and is a baseless and slanderous myth. And while there may be a few isolated instances, I can assure you my intentions are pure and simple. I am a wolf and proud of it and thus would never lower myself to wearing sheep’s clothing; the very thought sickens me. Believe me, we shouldn’t have any trouble reaching a mutual understanding, because I know how difficult your work is. So why is it so difficult? Because of the sheep’s pretence and hypocrisy: the two things in which I can never be fooled.
If sheep are supposed to be meek, humble, and obedient; why is it that whenever I insult them they in turn insult me? One of their worst out of pure arrogance said to me: “Will you also disannul my judgment? Will you condemn me, that you may be righteous? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like his?” Are they not supposed to “offer also the other” cheek? Why when I test their humility do they get angry? Is it not written: “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry?” And why when I tell them to do something do they disobey? Why? Because they’re not sheep but imposters! For the best way to hide one tendency, intention or characteristic, is to feign or cultivate the opposite one. Did not one of your celebrated reformers say: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Need I go on? Can you blame me if I loose my patience with them? OK maybe I can be a little abrupt; I don’t deny it. But would I be sitting here talking to you if I wasn’t bent on correction? Besides what are my imperfections compared to their disgusting vices? Look, I am not unjust but fair. How many times while having superior strength and intellect, have I spared the lives of sheep, or limited myself to a strong warning? Due to my strict stand against hypocrisy they accuse me of being cold-hearted, callous, cruel or even sadistic. But the reality is I’m quite considerate, charitable and yes, sheep-loving.
I return good for evil. And I have frequently condescended to advise them on the correct and safe way to behave towards me, but with few exceptions they disregard this kindness, misunderstand my motives, and even attempt to find fault with me! Who - or what rather - are they to accuse me! They don’t understand, and “they know not what they do,” for if I cannot fault myself, what effect could their faultfinding possibly have on me! In actual fact, they externalize and project onto me their own evils and passions – which I in no way possess – as a defense against seeing, and so as to remain unaware of, the same in themselves. They attack me to avoid attacking themselves, and then blame me. To justify their own excessive hostility they exaggerate mine. Some think I simply want to dominate or humiliate them and frustrate their needs and hopes, and fail to see how I am tirelessly, persistently, and beneficently educating them as to their best interests. Can I help it if they don’t attend to me or forget who I am? I could understand and sympathize with their envy of my invulnerability, inviolability, immunity and impunity. But all these weren’t given to me on a silver platter. I’ve fought endless savage battles to reach my present invincibility, for I am determined to triumph.
Its to their advantage to respect and fear me, since I am not wronging them, but helping them face the harsh realities of life and to understand their weaknesses. Sure, I have weaknesses too – but at least I don’t pretend. And how can I be expected to attend to and correct mine when they continuously provoke me? With some – the dregs of the flock - it is as if their only goal is to vindictively throw me down any way they can, but only so they can engage their passions unhindered. (I am amazed at the resourcefulness of this vindictive form of pride, they use a public confessional display of some universal or obvious weakness as a ploy to disarm, and claim to justification, just prior to making a malicious attack with thus, impunity: ‘at least I am humble and repentant but you…!’) You can see why they hate me; I am a thorn in their flesh. “Is there none righteous, not one?” Its not that I judge others by myself, but that they compel me to be mistrustful, suspicious, and incessantly watchful (surely you can sympathize with this? I don’t know whether to thank them or anathematize them, and am curious as to how you respond). For if I relax my efforts, in the twinkling of an eye they will trample all over me. There is a fierce war going on and you talk about love - please lets be realists! Is it possible to love without aggression?
Aggression is the most important ingredient of love. There can be no true love without aggression and hostilities. Although I blush with shame for my defeats, I am proud of my aggression because it proves my love: “As many as I love I rebuke and chasten.” As for them, they attack me out of self-interest and selfishness, and so cause a diversion to draw attention away from, to maintain, and avoid attending to, their many evils. Me? I am just protecting myself. And while I’m doing as much as I am permitted to help them I never attack first, and then only in self-defense. If they’d relinquish their fiercely aggressive malice, which only serves their passions and hypocrisy, then things could change. If I was to demand from you the shepherd, or the sheep themselves, damages for all the wounds, abuse, ridicule and anxiety I’ve incurred, many would not have “the wherewithal to pay” and would have to give up their privileges and rights. And what about my rights? Don’t I have rights? “Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance?” No? Then “God forbid” that I do unrighteousness! Only a fool has no dignity, and boy do they owe me!
Why am I so very self-assured? Because I know I am right. But, if I am right, its only because they are wrong. If they were right, then we wouldn’t have any differences, because I’m right too. But since I know they’re wrong – proven by their hostile reaction to me - this factual evidence is a guarantee of my rightness. Even without this proof, to maintain my unique position and high standards, I simply have to be right and become immune to self-doubt and self-blame. I thus sacrifice any potential gain to be had from humility that I may save others. To the extent that I am weakened will the flock perish – you need me, they need me. If I was to stop believing in myself and my mission, I’d immediately be inundated by so much guilt and self contempt for everything I have done, and be so swallowed up with grief, that I’d either be thoroughly crushed, or seek relief through suicide. If, on the other hand, I was simply wrong, and not them, then it follows that I’d have to take the blame and start attending to and working on myself (something completely foreign to me and which I’m reluctant to do). And to do that I’d have to take my attention off them, and as soon as they notice this they’ll attack me with a vengeance. Then I’ll have no one to turn to because I’m also a lone wolf.
I have a confession to make: I said before that aggression is essential, but the unpleasant concomitant and consequence of this is: violence. It is impossible to escape violence. Non-violence is a myth. Become violent or be violated. What is violence? Violence is humility. My humility is violence. My humility makes them violent and unstable. Humility can kill, and is deadly. I have aggressively cultivated humility all my life. My form of humility is quite vicious and dangerous. I am compulsively and indiscriminately humble. On the slightest pretext, I will humble myself. Sometimes I am afraid I may not be able to control it and may inadvertently harm some proud sheep. I seek out occasions for pride so as to restrain my humility. I try to control my humility by not retreating in discussions and by upsetting sheep, i.e. by trying to become proud. But I don’t succeed because I am only pretending. I’m a humble hypocrite. This is why they misunderstand me. They say to me: you’ll never be able to become proud; and thus they distress me, and I weep. Is it my fault that I am humble? Did I ask for it? Is it just that only I should suffer from humility? I want all to suffer from it because I am unselfish. Woe unto me, it is a loosing battle, because my humility is a passion. I don’t possess it; it possesses me.
The humble truth makes me very grateful. Proud lies make me indignant. On the whole I am happy, but if I could share my happiness with others I would become happier. I am not proud of my humility but ashamed of it. I am unworthy to be humble and deserve only pride, and would willingly become proud if it meant your sheep would become humble. I pray to God that He will give me pride so I can wrestle with it face to defaced. But if I am not delivered from humility pride will continue to avoid me. For me to become proud, humility must forsake me of itself. Until that happens I will suffer from conscience pangs and the proud from envy. My nothingness is a gift that the proud envy because they are something: if only we also were nothing! The violence and depth of my humility drives them crazy. Although I am contented, my humility causes me to love sorrowfully and suffer quietly. For me it is a matter of life and death: humility is life, pride is death. My motto is humility or death – please forgive me; I am sin. (Some of your sheep adhere to the opposite.)
Although I am just doing my job, they are so ungrateful and self-serving, they respect neither my authority, nor yours it seems – we’re in the same boat. I respect authority only, so my respect for you is automatic and genuine. And while I no longer have the same authority I had outside the sheepfold, I have such faith in your wisdom that I would never question your decisions. I also have a great deal of patience. But my patience is wearing thin with some of your sheep. Recently, I was astonished when one had the temerity to ask me: “Who made thee a prince and a judge over us?” To which I indignantly replied: I “could have no power at all against” you, “except it were given” me “from above,” and “You do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Is it not written: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” This of course had no effect whatsoever, for all they understand is brute force. I would never question your methods, but I for one never hesitate to resort to intimidation – just a suggestion. At any rate, since you have my full co-operation (I am at your mercy), I’m sure you will eventually succeed in making them cease to question, criticize, ridicule and abuse me. For my part I can positively state that if they work with me, I can guarantee, not only their salvation, but also great glory. If they show me mercy and compassion, I will raise them on high, and make them invulnerable to every assault. “All this power will I give” them, as soon as they stop resisting and co-operate.
There is one among you though, which, while I would never judge it, has given me, yourself and the flock, no end of trouble, and is accountable to no one. It dishonors you, the flock, and the very woolen clothes it wears. It is incorrigible, profligate, a law unto itself, and is not ashamed to flaunt every kind of passion in my face. My sensitive nature is disturbed and upset by such excess depravity. I am shocked, morally offended, and scandalized. I cannot make a demand, for I have no claim to holiness. I will simply make an appeal to reason and your better judgment. And while I personally believe it would be better to “cut it down” and send it to the slaughter, I am willing to forget past grievances, and in an effort to prove I want to reform my own imperfections, ask you to permit me access to his area. I will not touch him. Do not the scriptures say: “the wolf will dwell with the lamb,” and “the wolf and the lamb shall feed together?” Have pity on my patience and longsuffering, and that the scriptures and fate be fulfilled, do me this one favor. And may God bless you.
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Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: Ps. 141:5.
The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things. Prov. 15:28.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity Matt. 23:28.
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. Jn. 7:24.
[taken from footnote 55] «Μηδέποτε αἰδεσθῇς τὸν πρὸς σὲ τοῦ πλησίον καταλαλοῦντα» Λόγος Ι΄, ζ΄.
[taken from footnote 81] «Ἀδελφὸς ήρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Ποιμένα λέγων: Τί τὰ ὑψηλά ἐστι; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων: Τὸ δικαίωμα» Ἀποφθέγματα, ΕΠΕ Φιλ. 1 σελ. 560.
 ‘…(demons) who are specifically provided for the subduing of pride,’ Isaac the Syrian, The Second Part, Chapter XIV: 34, p 77.
 My preference - because they are easy targets. While ‘a sharp and curt soul, by living in a community, and mixing with hard, hot-tempered men,’ (Step 8:10) has difficulty; and in particular ‘in a company of brothers, and indeed the most hardened,’ Step 8:25, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, St. John of Sinai, AD † 603, pp. 82, 85. This classic monastic text will be used in the footnotes to offset the main text.
 ‘Often the more infirm, will be the more humble,’ (To the Shepherd, 46), which is why I hate them.
 The other wolves say to me: ‘Do not be surprised when you see that those whom you love turn against you on account of your rebukes,’ Step 26:133.
 ‘…he [satan] makes sport of them as he pleases,’ St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 75, p. 371.
 You should know that ‘he is on the earth at his post in His service. In some things, in particular those providing education and humility from God, or of His wrath, the devil was ordered to serve by command of the Lord, together with his evil angels, as the divine Scriptures state, for it says: “He sent forth against them the wrath of His anger, anger and wrath and affliction, He sent by His evil angels.” (Ps. 78:49; LXX Ps. 77:53.) Anastasios of Sinai, Answer 31, ΕΠΕ-ΦΙΛ. vol. 13 B, pp. 340-342.
 Luke 18:11.
 Cf John. 10:14-16.
 ‘No sensible person, I think, will dispute that slander is born of hatred and remembrance of wrongs,’ Step 10:1.
 ‘If anyone has noticed that he is easily overcome by conceit and sharp temper, guile and hypo-crisy,…’ Step 8:25.
 ‘Those bitter, unsmiling, and dark ranks of the enemy,’ (p. 344). ‘Many people, even we ourselves, having great ills of haughtiness, conceit and vanity and such like in the hidden chambers, are unawares of what we fail to observe,’ Neil the Monk, Letter 109, ΕΠΕ-Φ vol. 11 D, pp. 68-70.
 ‘Self-exaltation begets contempt and disobedience begets perdition,’ Abba Dorotheos, p. 81.
 Job 40:8-9.
 Matthew 5:39; Luke 6:29.
 Ecclesiastes 7:9.
 ‘All the contrary virtues are born of parents contrary to these,’ (Step 26:49). ‘Hypocrisy is a contrary state of body and soul interwoven with every kind of subterfuge,’ Step 24:16.
 Matthew 5:44.
 From four things anger multiplies: through giving and taking, asserting one’s will, through desiring to teach, and from considering oneself sensible,’ Abba Isaiah, ΕΠΕ Φιλ. vol. 12, p. 80:11.
 ‘And this is a beam,’ (see Step 8:20); “when do you not see the beam in your own eye?” Luke 6:42.
 Of course “yet am I not hereby justified,” (1 Corinthians 4:4; see also Step 25:55). But “God forbid that I should justify you; till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live, ” Job 27:5, 6.
 I say to them: ‘Struggle to delude your own prudence,’ Step 24:34.
 And did not that Egyptian of yours say: ‘attend to your self, rejoicing when beaten, reviled, rebuked and disciplined,’ St. Barsanuphius, Answer 237, ΕΠΕ Φιλ. vol. 10 Β, p. 24.
 [Gk. ελεήμων] While “the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel,” (Proverbs 12:10) and “may not the oil of the sinner anoint my head,” Psalm 140:6, LXX.
 Romans 12:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9.
 ‘The acceptance of indignity with the greatest pleasure,’ (Step 25:7). Don’t they know that: ‘a fool looks for faults and defects,’ (Step 10:16). I say to them exactly the same thing as your Egyptian: ‘why are you vexed? why do you quarrel? … Die, miserable one, to every [wolf]. Say to your thought: “Who am I? dust, ashes (Genesis 18:27) and a dog.” Say: “I have absolutely nothing.”’ St. Barsanuphius, Answer 553.
 (Luke 23:34) ‘I have noticed what a sorry sight angry people present by their self-esteem, though they themselves were unaware of it,’ Step 8:24.
 Together with the former Saul I would say: “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you, or of man’s judgement; but neither do I judge myself,” 1 Corinthians 4:3.
 Projection: ‘an externalization of an internal process,’ (S. Freud, The Metapsychology of Dreams, p. 231). ‘O man whose conscience is polluted and wavering, and yet you are filled with zeal and demand that justice be exacted from others: when your brethren seem to you to be doing wrong, do not immediately become upset and disturbed, do not castigate them because of your foolish zeal. Rather, look within yourself and understand that the mirror of your conscience is befouled with the unseemly filth of envy and malice, and that your intellect has begun to see pure things as unclean. Understand that the bad things that you see in others are a shadow of the impure images that are imprinted inwardly on the mirror of your heart, and they become outwardly manifest as imposed on the good actions of your brethren. Thus pure things seem to you to be impure. Do not find fault with exterior things, but interior, that is with your unstable and polluted conscience,’ p. 422, 7:73, Appendix B, The Book of Grace; Note: This is an ancient 7th Century account of the psychological mechanism of projection or externalization.
 So that: ‘Guile is born of conceit and anger,’ Step 26:47.
 But the sheep from envy say to me: ‘Let us constantly guard against admitting even the mere thought that we have attained to any good whatsoever; and let us keep on looking carefully to see whether this is one of our characteristics. If it is, then we shall know that we have utterly failed,’ Step 26:162.
 Because I am he “who looks on the earth and makes it tremble,” Psalm 104:32.
 Perhaps you do not know that: ‘There are spirits who were created to avenge, and in their anger their scourges are made firm,’ (Answer 17, p. 244) ‘The devil is the enemy of God and the avenger,’ (p. 342) ‘And he is an avenger, when bearing his hate for us, who through sin have already become subject to him, he requests our punishment,’ Anastasios of Sinai, Answer 32, vol. 13 B, p. 344.
 And as the so-called ‘Ladder’ describes it: ‘Before others he blames himself for being vainglorious, and in blaming himself is only angling for glory for himself,’ Step 18:3, p. 125.
 “A righteous man accuses himself at the beginning of his speech,” (Proverbs 18:17, LXE) ‘And I was horrified at the demons [sheep’s] trickery, and nearly despaired of my own life,’ Step 8:24.
 It is ‘hatred of righteousness,’ (Step 9:2). And ‘Wrath is a reminder of hidden hatred, that is to say remembrance of wrongs. Wrath is a desire for the injury of the one who has provoked you,’ (Step 8:5).
 (2 Cor. 12:7). At other times I am ‘a nail stuck in the soul,’ (Step 9:2, On Remembrance of Wrongs).
 Psalm 14:3; Romans 3:10.
 As the sadistic sheep say: kick him when he’s down. Because they believe ‘…trampled on and kicked, and so he may wash out the filth which is still in the sentient part of his soul,’ Step 8:25.
 ‘A powerful tendency to aggressiveness is always present beside a powerful love,’ Freud, NIL 33.
 I understand if ‘they still become more angry at their defeat,’ (Step 8:24) and that ‘satisfying it [the passion] he gets angry with himself,’ (Step 18:3); because they’re thinking: ‘When exposed I do not grieve, I go hand in hand with sham piety,’ Step 18:5, On Insensibility, p. 126.
 (Revelations 3:19.) But the sheep ‘replied in self-defence that they were doing so out of love and care for the slandered,’ (Step 10:4). ‘While they should know he did not say “beat,”’ (Step 8:20, p. 84).
 ‘..so that there beaten by the insults and dishonours of his tempestuous brethren, he will be spiritually stretched and perhaps even sometimes physically thrashed,’ (Step 8:25, On Freedom from Anger).
 Matthew 18:25; Luke 7:42.
 Romans 3:5, 6, (KJV). The correct translation is: who inflicts wrath.
 They say to me: ‘Have remembrance of wrongs and spitefulness against the demons,’ (Step 9:9) to distract my attention. And, ‘for he who remembers the wrongs of the demons, will not remember the wrongs of man,’ [i.e. sheep]; Neilos the Monk, To Eulogios Monk, Chap. 21, ΕΠΕ Φιλ. 11 Β, p. 228.
 But ‘even so he will never trust himself; for self-confidence is a thorn and a burden for the humble,’ Step 25:54, On Humility.
 ‘Humility is an abyss of self-abasement,’ Step 25:26.
 2 Corinthians 2:7.
 ‘He who falls is crushed,’ Step 25:39.
 “and going out he hanged himself,” (Matthew 27:5); ‘the dog of despair,’ Step 25:39.
 ‘As one who is fighting a lion is lost the moment he takes his eyes off it,’ Step 26:41, Summary.
 ‘How can we overcome the sinfulness that is already firmly established within us? We must use force. One labours and struggles, and so by the use of force he escapes destruction, always striving to raise his thoughts to holiness. We are not forbidden to resist force with force. If in any ascetic task we exert force, however slight, then “remaining in Jerusalem,” we can wait for the “power from on high” which will come down upon us (cf. Luke 24:49). In other words, if we persevere in unceasing prayer and the other virtues, there will come upon us a mighty force, infinitely stronger than any we can exert. This force cannot be described in human language; in its great strength it overcomes our worst faults of character and the malice of the demons, conquering both the sinful inclinations of our soul and the disordered impulses of our body. “There came a sound from heaven as of a rushing violent wind” (Acts 2:2); and this force from heaven drives out the evil that is always forcing us to sin,’ (St. John of Karpathos, Consolatory Chapters, № 50, Philokalia vol. 1, p. 310).
 “But now you seek to kill me,” John 8:40.
 ‘The deer is the destroyer of all visible snakes, but humility destroys spiritual ones,’ Step 26:12, On Discernment, Summary.
 ‘As it is impossible to destroy a wild beast without a weapon, so without humility it is impossible to obtain freedom from anger,’ Step 26:36, Summary.
 ‘I am not able to carry it without danger,’ Step 25:43.
 ‘and wounds many humble souls,’ Step 8:18.
 ‘Such as these take no account of the fact that they are a cause of offence to men,’ Step 25:44.
 ‘…and there is one virtue only which the demons cannot imitate,’ Step 25:17.
 ‘For where can the poison of hypocrisy appear in humility?’ Step 25:8.
 ‘…and if because of weakness, anger is not shown, sadness will necessarily follow,’ Neilos the Monk, ΕΠΕ Φιλ. vol.11 C, p. 106.
 ‘My opponents, who are now holding me captive;’ ‘due to an involuntary tendency,’ Step 8:29 +11.
 ‘pleasureless feeling cherished in the sweetness of bitterness,’ Step 9:2.
 ‘In union with humility, it is impossible that there should be any appearance of hatred,’ Step 25:9.
 The opposite is: I’m miserable, but if I can make others miserable too, I’ll feel better.
 ‘…account themselves unworthy of such wealth,’ Step 25:35, On Humility.
 “I have great sorrow and unceasing distress in my heart, wishing that I was anathematised from Christ for the sake of my brethren,” Romans 9:2, 3.
 Since those angels do not “continually behold the face of my father,” (Matthew 18:10) they loose their personality; their hypostases are im-personal, i.e. de-faced, because apostates apostatise, i.e. stand away from, aloof from, the face of God, which is Love. “Let them that hate Him flee from before His face,” (Psalm 68:1; see also Step 26:35). So apostates have a defacing power.
 ‘Until the swelling (arrogance) of the soul is emptied, the demon will necessarily remain squeezing and censuring the swollen one,’ Neilos the Monk, Letter 58, ΕΠΕ Φιλ. vol. 11 D, p. 38.
 ‘…those who because of envy he (devil) hated,’ Anastasios of Sinai, Answer 57, vol. 13 B, p. 412.
 ‘Hypocrisy comes from self-satisfaction and self-reliance,’ Step 26:48.
 ‘One felt the sting of this and was troubled, but kept silent,’ Step 8:27.
 ‘Remembrance of wrongs is…continuous sin,’ Step 9:2.
 Listen to what one of your abbas of sheep said: ‘With every sin the devil has humbled us and we ought to be grateful for our humility; for those who have become grateful for their humility crush the devil,’ Abba Zosima, ΕΠΕ Φιλ. vol. 12, p. 142.
 ‘Authority served as a ground for arrogance,’ Step 25:58.
 ‘Vanity or conceit twines itself around bravery just as bindweed twines around cypress,’ Step 26:161.
 Exodus 2:14.
 ‘A haughty monk contradicts violently, but a humble one cannot even look another in the face,’ Step 23:6, On Mad Pride.
 ‘Even if those asked were brutes, yet he who speaks is the immaterial and invisible,’ wolf, Step 26:111.
 John 19:11.
 Matthew 22:29.
 Romans 13:1-2, (KJV, Other versions for power put authority; and for damnation put judgment.)
 From ‘the suggesting demon,’ Step 10:5, On Slander or Calumny.
 “The righteous and blameless man is born to be mocked,” (Job 12:4); see also ΕΠΕ Φιλ. 13 Β, p.454.
 Those wolf-hating sheep say to me tauntingly: ‘Believe that dishonours and abuse are healing medicines for your soul, and pray for those who revile you as true doctors, being convinced that he who hates dishonours hates humility and he who avoids those who offend avoids meekness,’ Abba Dorotheos, To those Superintending in Monasteries, ΕΠΕ Φιλ. vol. 13, p. 618.
 Because ‘the Lord abides in long-suffering, and the devil in quick temper,’ (The Shepherd of Hermas, ΕΠΕ Apostolic Fathers, vol. 4. p. 438). ‘When acute temper falls upon you or bitterness, know that he is in you,’ ibid p. 444.
 ‘As he who climbs up a rotten ladder runs a risk, so all honour, glory and authority oppose humility and bring down him who has them,’ (Step 26:42). ‘Repentance raises up,’ Step 25:15.
 ‘…love and humility; the one exalts, and the other, supporting the exalted ones, never fails,’ (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:7, 8; Step 25:37.
 Luke 4:6, (KJV).
 ‘The demons force us into sin or, not sinning, they get us to pass judgement on those sinning; so that they may defile us with the stain which we ourselves are condemning in another,’ Step 10:11.
 ‘…you malicious reckoners of others accounts,’ Step 10:9.
 ‘And he who I condemned as profligate,’ Step 10:6.
 ‘…for some supposedly reasonable cause,’ Step 8:16.
 Luke 13:7.
 ‘…your longstanding insincerity towards him,’ Step 9:11.
 “The proud have hid a snare for me,” Psalm 140:5; (139:5, LXX).
 “…but touch not himself,” Job 2:6.
 Isaiah 11:6.
 Isaiah 65:25.
 ‘So let the tyrant anger be bound with chains of meekness, and be beaten by long-suffering,’ Step 8:29.
 (Mark 14:49.) ‘Remembrance of wrongs is an interpreter of Scripture which explains the words of the Spirit allegorically in order to suit its own disposition,’ Step 9:9.