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Wisdom of Sirach 10:9

Why is earth and ashes proud? There is not a more wicked thing than a covetous man: for such an one sets his own soul to sale; because while he lives he casts away his bowels.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
"No one knows the things of a person except the spirit of man which is in him." And yet, there is something of a person that "the spirit " in him" does not know. But you, Lord, who made him, you fully know him. I indeed, though in your sight I despise myself and consider "myself but dust and ashes""I still know something concerning you that I do not know about myself. Most assuredly, "we see through a glass dimly," "not yet face to face." As long as I am absent from you, I am more present with myself than with you. - "Confessions 10.5.7" ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
I am afraid that the reason why the soul went forth away from God is that it was proud. In fact, I have no doubt about it. For it is written, "Pride is the beginning of all sin," and "the beginning of human pride is a falling away from God." It is written, it is firm and sure, it is true. And so, what is said of proud mortal humanity, clad in the tattered rags of the flesh, weighed down with the weight of a corruptible body, and all the while extolling himself, and forgetting the very skin he is clothed with"what, I ask, do the Scriptures say to him? "Why is dust and ashes proud?" Why proud! Let the Scriptures tell why. "Because in his life he put forth his inmost parts." What does "put forth" mean except that he "threw it far away"? In other words, to send them out. For to enter within is to long after the inmost parts; to put forth the inmost parts is to send them out. The proud man gets rid of the inmost parts, the humble man earnestly desires the inmost parts. If we are cast out by...

Fulgentius of Ruspe

AD 533
We should not think of God as the author of good works as if only at the dawn of creation he provided human nature the possibility of doing good in such a way that, after his help was taken away, human nature on its own could want or do anything good on its own. In reality, on its own initiative, human nature could not have realized such a possibility, not even in the first man even while he was still not yet wounded by sin. Therefore, how can human nature restore its own health without the aid of a physician since, while it was healthy, it could not even succeed in safeguarding its health then? Therefore, earth and ash should not get puffed up because it has abandoned its most visceral thoughts in this life; nor should the wounded act as if he were healthy because he thinks he has healed that part of himself. Rather, he should reflect with the humility of a wounded heart on the putridness of his wounds so that, proclaiming with the prophet, "My wounds grow foul and fester because of m...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
The humble and the proud are admonished differently. For the humble, it is to be insinuated how true that excellence is that they hold in hoping for it. For the proud, it is to be intimated how that temporal glory is as nothing, that even when they embrace it they are not holding it. Let the humble hear how eternal the things are that they long for, how transitory the things are that they despise. Let the proud hear how transitory the things are that they court and how eternal the things are that they lose. Let the humble hear from the authoritative voice of the Truth, "Everyone who humbles himself shall be exalted." Let the proud hear, "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled." Let the humble hear, "Humility goes before glory"; let the proud hear, "The spirit is exalted before a fall." Let the humble hear, "To whom shall I have respect, but to one who is humble and quiet and trembles at my words?" Let the proud hear, "Why are earth and ashes proud?" Let the humble hear, "God resp...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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