“You’re so Vane….”

van·i·ty  (vn-t)

n. pl. van·i·ties

1. The quality or condition of being vain.
2. Excessive pride in one’s appearance or accomplishments; conceit.
3. Lack of usefulness, worth, or effect; worthlessness.

a. Something that is vain, futile, or worthless.
b. Something about which one is vain or conceited.
The online Urban Dictionary defines vanity as:

To be obsessed with how you look, to love oneself’s image, to think you are the most gorgeous thing on two legs.
Remember the song that stated, “you’re so vain, you think this song is about you…?”  Well are you?

The person who truly wishes to be healed is he who does not refuse treatment. This treatment consists of the pain and distress brought on by various misfortunes. He who refuses them does not realize what they accomplish in this world or what he will gain from them when he departs this life.”  St. Maximus the Confessor, Third Century on Love

Never confuse the person, formed in the image of God, with the evil that is in him: because evil is but a chance misfortune, an illness, a devilish reverie. But the very essence of the person is the image of God, and this remains in him despite very disfigurement.” St. John of Kronstadt

Why do you beat the air and run in vain? Every occupation has a purpose, obviously. Tell me then, what is the purpose of all the activity of the world? Answer, I challenge you! It is vanity of vanity: all is vanity.” St. John Chrysostom

Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mat. 5:48)

Ultimately perfection does not come from the individual but from God. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ.  Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will Himself perfect you and confirm you and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).

“Because Orthodoxy is not individualistic, rather than the arrogance that goes with that individualism, in Orthodoxy we are taught to humbly listen to the teachings of the Fathers of the Church. We are taught not to think ourselves more holy or clever than the Fathers of the Church who have clearly shown themselves to be doers of the Word, and men of holiness — and so when we read the Bible, we read it in accordance with the testimony of the Church rather than in the vanity of our individualistic minds.”  Priest John Whiteford states this in “The Orthodox Mind.”  For me, this is well stated and we should all take a good look at ourselves this day!

He further states, “The Orthodox Faith is a lifestyle, rather than a weekend hobby. We affirm the Inspiration of the Scriptures as firmly as any Protestant, but we also affirm the Apostolic Tradition that St. Paul told us included both written Scripture and oral Tradition — both of which we are to hold fast to. Christianity is not reduced to a book, we have received our worship, as well as our theology from the Apostles.”

Where am I?  Where are you?  Is the song describing us?

About padrerichard

I am a Priest with ROCOR.
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