Today I was still searching for some inspiration on the Gospel reading about the pharisees ( see previous post). Looking through my books I came across my copy of MARKINGS by Dag Hammarskjold, first published in 1964, four years after his death. Time has not changed the essence of truth contained in this little book.
It is a remarkable record of the spiritual struggle of a very private man who spent many years in the public eye, most notably as Seceretary-General of The United Nations.
It is a fascinating self portrait of a renowned peacemaker and it spells out clearly the features of the pharisee in others and also shows the severity with which Hammarskjold marked his own spiritual conduct and measured the integrity of his soul.
So here are a few of his little gems on the nature of the pharisee that is without and within us all and to finish, a few words on how to remedy the situation.
" It was when Lucifer first congratulated himself upon his angelic behaviour that he became the tool of evil".
"The "men of the hour," the self -assured who strut about among us in the jingling harness of their success and importance ; how can you let yourself be irritated by them ? Let them enjoy their triumph-on the level to which it belongs."
"Success for the glory of God or for your own, for the peace of mankind or for your own ? Upon the answer to this question depends the result of your actions."
The pride of the cup is in the drink, its humility in the serving. What, then, do its defects matter ?
"Be grateful as your deeds become less and less associated with your name as your feet ever more lightly tread the earth".
"To be, in faith, both humble and proud : that is, to live, to know that in God I am nothing, but that God is in me."