From the podcast with Fr. Thomas Hopko
Never bring attention to yourself. Never,consciously, bring attention to yourself. Wherever you are, do what the other people do. That’s especially important in Church. When you go to Church, do what the people there are doing. It’s what St. Ambrose told to St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, when she asked: “What should I do when I go to Rome?” He said: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Fast as the Romans fast. Stand as the Romans stand. Sing as the Romans sing.
Last week I mentioned that the Maxim 31, “Be simple, hidden, quiet and small”, seemed to say to me “Don’t bring attention to yourself.” And here we are at the Maxim that specifically talks about that.
He seems to be talking about not being different from others so much as to stand out. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
How about this scripture?
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.Philippians 2:1-4
I think not bringing attention to yourself also means just what these verses talk about.
1. Being like-minded.
2. Being of one accord.
3. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
4. Let each look for the interests of others.
And another quote for encouragement…
A Christian must be courteous to all. His words and deeds should breath with the grace of the Holy Spirit, which abides in his soul, so that in this way he might glorify the name of God. He who regulates all of his speech also regulates all of his actions. He who keeps watch over the words he is about say also keeps watch over the deeds he intends to do, and he never goes out of the bounds of good and benevolent conduct. The graceful speech of a Christian is characterized by delicateness and politeness. This fact, born of love, produces peace and joy. On the other hand, boorishness gives birth to hatred, enmity, affliction, competitiveness, disorder and wars.
(St. Nektarius of Aegina, The Path to Happiness, 7)
This quote doesn’t specifically mention not bringing attention to self, but in regulating our speech and actions. Watch over your words and deeds. This indeed will keep us from trying to bring attention to ourselves.
On this Monday of the week of Thanksgiving let me say, I am grateful for each and every one of you who takes the time to read my blog.
Have a very blessed week!