Saint John Vianney, patron saint of Catholic parish priests, speaks to the human condition and our fallen nature by being direct and honest; having no interest other than to explain to others the fundamentals of Christian living and what we must do to attain Heaven.
Your Heart Is But A Mass Of Pride
You will tell me, perhaps, that you never judge people except by what you see or after you have actually heard or been the witness of some action: “I saw him doing this action, so I am sure. I heard what he said with my own ears. After that, I could not be mistaken.”
But I shall reply by telling you to begin by entering into your own heart, which is but a mass of pride wherein everything is dried up. You will find yourself infinitely more guilty than the person whom you are so boldly judging, and you have plenty of room for fear, lest one day you will see him going to Heaven while you are being dragged down to Hell by the demons." Oh, unfortunate pride," says St. Augustine to us, “you dare to judge your brother on the slightest appearance of evil, and how do you know that he has not repented of his fault and that he is not numbered among God’s friends? Take care rather that he does not take the place which your pride is putting you in great danger of losing.”
Yes, my dear brethren, all these rash judgments and all these interpretations come only from a person who has a secret pride, who does not know himself, and who dares to wish to know the interior life of his neighbor, something which is known to God alone. If only, my dear children, we were able to arrive at the stage of eradicating this first of the capital sins from our hearts, our neighbor would never do any wrong according to us. We should never amuse ourselves by examining his conduct. We should be content to do nothing else save weep for our own sins and work as hard as we could to correct them.